Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

Meeting the OAE team July 1, 2010

Filed under: 1B: research — concerttuning @ 9:25 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I went to the OAE office on Wednesday 23 June to meet Natalie and Natasha who work in the education and marketing departments. OAE is known to be a bit eccentric with their slogan ‘not all orchestras are the same‘, so I went to see if their unique approach attracted a different kind of audience.


The orchestra is different in the way it communicates with its audience. It uses very bold eye-catching printed material for which they commission photo shoots of the orchestra. The tone of language is conversational, with simple explanations of who they are why they do what they do.

Future Audiences

Besides the night shift they do a number of things to make the orchestra interactive and accessible. Their next season has a pre-concert event called OAE Extra before each concert including talks, illustrated lectures, insights & performances. There are also post-concert Q&A with the orchestra musicians. Similarly to the Night Shift they have used a presenter, though somewhat more formally, to introduce the works during a concert based on Handel.



The Conventional Classical Concert: Review May 1, 2010

La Belle France, 29 April 2010

Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford | John Rutter and Catrin Finch


I chose to attend this particular concert, as I knew I could get a free ticket through work, I was free that evening as my boyfriend intended to work, and I liked to sound of the programme with Debussy and Ravel.


I knew I liked Debussy and Ravel as composers – I did a course at uni about La Belle France focusing on music in Paris around 1900. I’ve played a few works by the composers including Debussy’s La Mer with my Youth Orchestra and Ravel’s Piano Trio at University though I wouldn’t be able to hum any tunes now. On itunes, I have an album of Ravel and Debussy’s piano works. Other friends have also commented how they like these composers.

I was also interested in seeing the soloist. It was a harpist, which is a beautiful instrument in itself. Through tweeting at work, I learnt a little more about the soloist, Catrin Finch. A volunteer at work who I invited to the concert also emailed me some You tube links of the soloist playing. I was impressed how she did conventional repertoire as well as fun things in electronic settings with bright lights etc. She has also been on TV.