The Night Shift

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Behind the Bar: The Cumberland Arms

Thu 2 Apr 2015

One of the best things about the Night Shift (apart from the music) is that it always takes place in a unique and interesting venue. So, in the run-up to our grand tour of England, we’ve decided to delve a little deeper into these amazing places. First up, our Newcastle venue, the Cumberland Arms.

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Richard Tognetti speed interview

Fri 21 Nov 2014

Richard Tognetti is leading The Night Shift on Monday. The man composes, plays the violin, surfs and has tutored Russell Crowe. We put him through our speed interview.

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Speed Interview – Katherine Spencer

Fri 6 Jun 2014

The Night Shift E1

We spoke with clarinettist Katherine Spencer who joins us on 18 June for The Night Shift: E1 at Village Underground, as part of Spitalfields Music Summer Festival.

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Speed Interview – Jonathan Rees

Mon 22 Apr 2013

Cello player Jonathan Rees will be playing at The Night Shift on 23 April, when we return to the Amersham Arms for some Handel, some improv and, of course, a few drinks. We spoke with Jonathan about his heroes and pre-concert rituals.

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Speed Interview – James Redwood

Sat 20 Apr 2013

Musical director, composer and presenter James Redwood joins us on 23 April for The Night Shift at The Amersham Arms.
Here’s what he had to say when given our speed interview.

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Speed Interview: Grace Davidson

Tue 20 Nov 2012

In the lead up to The Night Shift on 22 November, we put Grace Davidson up against the clock to find out a bit more about the pastimes of an acclaimed soprano soloist…

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Speed Interview: John Butt

Thu 15 Nov 2012

John Butts will direct the OAE in A Saint, A Priest and a Great Bear on 22 November

John Butt is about to direct a very different Night Shift on 22 November, which will see the dramatic work of Handel played in a totally different environment.  We chatted to him about fears, rituals and Flowerpot Men…

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Speed Interview: Roger Montgomery

Tue 23 Oct 2012

The OAE’s Principal Horn player Roger Montgomery will be playing a bit of Mozart at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at our Night Shift this Thursday.  We put him up against the clock with our Speed Interview…

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Robin Michael: Speed Interview

Thu 20 Sep 2012

Cellist Robin Michael is one of our four lovely OAE musicians appearing in our Night Shift next week at the Old Queens Head pub.
We caught up with him for the latest instalment in our speed interview series…

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Sarah McMahon: Speed Interview

Tue 7 Aug 2012

Cellist Sarah McMahon is making her Night Shift debut with us on Thursday at the Greenwich Summer Festival so we asked her a few questions about how she got into music and why everyone should come to the event on 9 August!

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Liz Kenny: Speed Interview

Wed 1 Aug 2012

We caught up with theorbo/lute player Liz Kenny to ask a few questions…

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Emma Walshe: Speed Interview

Wed 25 Jul 2012

Soprano Emma Walshe is appearing in our Night Shift events next week, on 1 August in Blackheath and 2 August in Greenwich. We caught up with her for the latest instalment in our speed interview series.

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Lisa Beznosiuk: Speed Interview

Sun 4 Mar 2012

Lisa Beznosiuk

We chatted to OAE Principal flautist Lisa Beznosiuk to ask her a few questions, ahead of her Night Shift performance tonight.

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Laurence Cummings: Speed Interview

Tue 28 Feb 2012

After our Roundhouse spectacular last week The Night Shift returns to its Southbank Centre home on 4 March with an all- Bach programme directed by Laurence Cummings. We put our fiendish speed interview questions to him…

What/when was your big breakthrough?

I feel that my musical career has been one long and fortunate slow burn but the thing that really changed my musical life and was a catalyst in the process of becoming a conductor was being appointed Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in 1997. I have enjoyed working with the students so much over the years and learnt so much from them. In fact Matthew Truscott, the leader for these projects, was one of the first students I worked with at RAM. I am very proud of his amazing achievements and delighted to be sharing the concert platform with him!

What do you fear the most?
A life lived in fear is a life half-lived (quotation from the film Strictly Ballroom!), however I won’t go skiiing in case I break my arm or damage my hands. It doesn’t stop me dancing wildly at parties though!

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My boyfriend’s.

What – or where – is perfection?
A walk in the countryside with my boyfriend.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Mrs Madrigal from Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Hanging up my coat and putting down my bag when getting home.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
My mother. She has achieved the most extraordinary things in her life. After my father died tragically early, she raised three children with strength, courage and grace and went on to become a Macmillan nurse. On retirement only a year’s voluntary service overseas would do! Where? Siberia of course. She worked with hospices in Russia and helped to forge links with British palliative care teams, creating exchanges of medical equipment and information. She is also wonderful company and her favourite word is ‘fun’!

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
DIY.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Live in the moment. I was very taken, when reading Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Art of Living and Dying, with the quotation from William Blake ‘He who binds to himself a joy, does the winged life destroy, But he who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in Eternity’s sunrise’.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Bach’s Mass in B minor.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
Where to start?!  With the OAE you can take the phenomenal standard of playing as a given, but what is so fascinating and energising is playing with musicians who have such a high level of mutual respect and are able to share musical ideas without egos  thwarting proceedings. And the players have a cracking sense of humour!

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Speed Interview: Alistair Appleton

Fri 17 Feb 2012

In a week’s time we’ll be at the Roundhouse, opening their Reverb 2012 festival with a truly huge Night Shift. In advance of that we caught up with Night Shift presenter Alistair Appleton and put our speedy questions to him.

What/when was your big breakthrough?
Getting the hosting job on a live German TV show when I lived in Berlin. I had no TV experience, only the dogged and relentless confidence of the 20 year old.

What do you fear the most? 
Stuckness.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My boyfriend’s. When we’re not arguing…

What – or where – is perfection?
No such thing. It’s an evil device dreamt up by Platonists to keep us unhappy. Mess is perfect.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Hagen from the Twilight of the Gods. I feel sorry for him.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Chenrezig. It’s a Tibetan Buddhist practice to generate compassion.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
Aung San Suu Kyi. I had to chat to her while she was waiting for a live news interview back in 1996. She radiated fierce respect and bravery down the phone line and I’ve admired her ever since.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I would love to play the cello well enough to sight-read in a string quartet.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
There’s always more.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
(Let me check…) Well, surprisingly it’s Nikolai Demidenko playing a Busoni transcription of Bach’s organ fugue BWV532. How hilariously high-brow. I thought it might be Donna Summer’s States of Independence.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
They glow from inside. And I feel it.

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Speed Interview: Jon Jacob

Wed 25 Jan 2012

The ‘pilot’ Pub Night Shift back in September was Jon’s first-ever live presenting job, having been used to doing stuff on camera before. He was apparently a *little* nervous before the gig. And again nervous afterwards that we wouldn’t ask him back. But as anyone who was there will know, he did an amazing job – so we of course DID ask him back to present the whole pub tour. Here’s a speed interview with him:

What/when was your big breakthrough?
When I received my cheque from the OAE for the first presenting gig I did for them. That’s when I knew I’d made it.

What do you fear the most?
Extreme heights, surgery whilst under a local anaesthetic and the moment when medical staff tell me, “There’s nothing we can do for you now.”

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My partner Simon’s, usually from the office phone so he doesn’t know who’s calling him. I love hearing the irritation in his voice when he momentarily thinks he’s speaking to an operator from a call-centre in India. That’s real love, that is.

What – or where – is perfection?
At the end of my nose where I used to be blighted by a massive (benign) mole. Two sessions of laser surgery and the mole was removed. I can now walk down the street and not cause small children to point and burst into tears.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Can I include TV? Peter Davison’s Doctor from Doctor Who. Charming, brave, insistent and painfully vulnerable. Qualities I like to think I possess myself. Oh … and I really wanted to go to school in his TARDIS (especially the second revamped TARDIS console room interior – very snazzy, I thought as a kid).

What’s your favourite ritual?
Friday evening trips home for a long night in with my partner and a bottle of red wine must be pre-ceded with a special pre-weekend trip to WHSmith to purchase various magazines. I’m a Private Eye, Gramaphone Magazine and History Today kinda guy.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
My former boss with over thirty year’s experience in journalism. An inspirer and supporter who didn’t feel the need to constantly remind us of what he’d done in the past (we all knew – we’d all Googled him before the interview). All of us need at least one person like that who has a significantly positive impact on our lives.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I would love to play the violin. I’ve spent hours picturing myself playing the violin but only one learning how to do a fluid down-bow. I learnt the clarinet, piano and percussion as a teenager but always felt I’d have had more opportunities if I’d been a string player. I’d love to experience being a player in a large string section.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That I’m not the root cause of other people’s problems.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No.1. Quite the most breathtakingly orchestrated piece of extreme-romanticism.

What’s the best […]

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Speed Interview: Nick Luscombe

Thu 19 Jan 2012

DJ Nick Luscombe joins us for two dates of our upcoming pub tour, at the Green Carnation, Soho, on 21 Feb and at the Old Queens Head, Angel, on 22 Feb. We caught up with him to put our fiendish speed interview questions to him…

What/when was your big breakthrough?
I started as a DJ/Broadcaster on XFM back in 1999 – a weekly show playing my own choice of music. Whilst there I also presented slots on BBC 6 Music 6 Mix. I never really thought of this as a breakthrough – more “work in progress” – but looking back these things really helped me to do a lot more cool things – such as present on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction and work with the good people at OAE!

What – or where – is perfection?
Sanzen-in temple in Ohara, near Kyoto. On every level it’s the most perfect place I’ve ever experienced.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Possibly a non existant fictional character that combines Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer in Annie Hall with Mad Men’s Don Draper. Why? Good question….

What’s your favourite ritual?
My weekly Flomotion radio show.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
The ability to organise my music collection.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
The chaos of my disorganised music collection isn’t cool.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Jaga Jazzist “Lithuania”.

What’s the best thing about working with the The Night Shift?
I love the whole concept. I learn so much every time.

How would you describe The Night Shift in 3 words?
Fun, educational, relaxed

Flomotion Radio
Pub Night Shift details

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Speed Interview: Maggie Faultless

Tue 10 Jan 2012

Maggie (or, more formally, Margaret) Faultless is one of the OAE’s four leaders and will be appearing in our forthcoming Pub Tour. Here’s our speed-interview with her:

What/when was your big breakthrough?
Being invited to lead OAE and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra.

What do you fear the most?
Big thing – climate change
More personal – tunnels

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My gorgeous husband.

What – or where – is perfection?
Home – by the fire or in the garden – honestly – nothing could beat this!

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Ohh – hard – it used to be Jo from Little Women, now it would be a mixture of bits of George Elliot’s wonderful female characters. Strong, opinionated, vulnerable, funny.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Finding time to read.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
Anyone who stands up for injustice is up there for me – however ‘unfamous’.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
A gift for languages would have been nice!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Keep laughing – there really is a good side to just about everything.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Who thought of these questions?! Ok – probably Sinfonia to Bach Cantata 106 or the end of Strauss’ Rosenkavalier.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
Pub Night Shifts – what an invention

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