Get to know the OAE: Part 10

This week, we chat to Georgina Cooksley about life as an intern with the OAE…

GeorginaWhat’s your role in the OAE office?

I’m the graduate intern so I get to be involved in all parts of the OAE. Mainly I work with the Projects team organizing and planning concerts but I also liaise with the Communications and Development teams and help the Education team with string club (although I can’t actually play the violin…yet.)

What does your typical day involve?

No two days have been the same here and there’s always a new challenge. One morning I had to dash to the Barbican to deliver Sir Simon Rattle his Tristan and Isolde music and another I’m backstage at the QEH catching Nick Logie with the chocolates or giving out flowers on stage. Most days I’m in the office talking to the players’ on the phone, helping Megan with US visas and E101s, drinking coffee, fixing the photocopier and anything that pops up.

Which mobile number do you call the most?

I text message rather than call people, so the number I probably text the most is my friend Amanda. My mum would be a close second and it’s normally for cooking or cleaning advice.

What – or where – is perfection?

Lying on a beach with your feet buried in the sand, listening to the waves roll along the sand.

What’s your favourite ritual?

Oh dear, this is going to sound bad but I would have to say ‘Friday night wine.’ It’s more about celebrating the end of the week and having a chat and a giggle with your friends over wine. It’s especially good if it’s a New Zealand wine.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?

I don’t necessarily know if she’s considered a hero but my favourite opera character is Carmen. There is something about her hedonistic attitude and inner strength that I admire. She also sings my favourite operatic lyric “Love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame … He has never known law. If you don’t love me I love you, if I love you watch yourself!” in the Habanera.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

I really wish I could either drive a Formula One car or sing like an opera singer, (preferably like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa).

What do you fear the most?

That one day I will wake up and regret not making the most out of life’s opportunities and forcing myself out of my comfort zone.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That you should always welcome and not be afraid of change. You can plan your life out as much as you like but when you least expect it will shift you into a new direction and out of your comfort zone.

What was the first album you ever bought?

I’m from the Disney generation so my first about was the soundtrack to Beauty and the Beast and I must say that 20 years it’s still on high rotation. Wow, I can’t believe it was that long ago!

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?

It’s equal first for Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, Phoenix Love is like a Sunset and Gershwin’s Summertime.

Which OAE concert are you most looking forward to this year?

The Night Shift on 4 May. I love the idea of classical music without the rules and who doesn’t love a good hearty Beethoven Concerto?

What’s been the highlight of your time at OAE so far?

Meeting all the fabulous people in the office and getting to know the musicians…. Oh and working on the Birex reconciliation.

Tour Diary: Sheffield

A short video from our trip up to Sheffield back in February – a concert which was part of our Green Tour initiative which saw the OAE ditch individual cars in favour of coaches and trains. Though we now know that trains are noisy places in which to film interviews… turn the volume up to hear Ceri at the start! Sadly we didn’t get footage of the venue evacuation, we were too busy wondering what on earth was happening…

OAE Brass on ‘In Tune’

On Wednesday evening brass soloists of the OAE appeared on Radio 3′s In Tune programme, ahead of their concert this evening at Kings Place. While on the programme they played some of the music featured in the concert and also talked to host Petroc Trelawny about it and their instruments. You can view a picture of them in the studio here. As you’ll see, a rogue percussionist sneaked in…You can listen to us on the programme here – it’s about 14.30 into the show. Join them tonight at Kings Place to hear the concert (8.45pm) – and there’s even a free performance afterwards, in the brass section’s natural habitat – the bar.

Caption Competition: Tell us why Zen isn’t looking very, er, Zen and win tickets to Baroque. Contrasted.

Angry ZenWhen we did our ‘Green’ picture a while back we saw afterwards that on one of the shots we took our Digital Content Officer, Zen, had a particularly angry/shocked expression on his face…unusual for him given that, as his name suggests, he’s a particularly calm person.

Anyway – what do you think is on the piece of paper he seems to be reading? Or, what’s he thinking of saying? Post your suggestions here and our favourites will receive a pair of tickets to their choice of one of the following events this weekend at Kings Place:

Saturday 9 April at 12.30pm: Sing Baroque! Join OAE Co-Principal Keyboard Steven Devine to sing music by Purcell

Sunday 10 April at 11.30am: Coffee Concert with the OAE Experience Ensemble, directed by Alison Bury – music by Telemann, Boyce, Purcell and Handel.

Deadline for entries is 9pm tomorrow evening.

Baroque. Contrasted: final Daily Trivia

It’s the last day of our hugely exciting trivia section… *sob*

Here are the final titbits for your musical pleasure:

Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630) was a German composer of the early Baroque era and was afflicted with poor health- his wife died in childbirth; four of his five children died in infancy; he died at age 44, having suffered from tuberculosis, gout, scurvy and a kidney disorder.

Hugh Aston (1485-1558) was an English composer of the early Tudor period. His initial salary at The Newarke (a musical institution in Leicester) was £10 a year, only £2 a year less than that of the Dean. Listen to his Hornpype (which we’re playing on Friday) here.

William Brade (1560-1630) was an English composer, violinist, and viol player of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras and liked to change jobs frequently- during his career, he moved 13 times!

If you’d like to hear more music from these composers, why not try one of our hour-long concerts at Kings Place?

Concerts start tomorrow night from 6.45pm and more details can be found on our website.

Matthew Truscott on Purcell’s emotional depths and Handel’s borderline smugness

Now you get to hear from a player rather than just office bods! In this latest vid OAE leader Matthew Truscott talks about the concert he has devised and is directing at Kings Place on 9 April, – a programme which features Purcell, Bach and Handel, including how the concert fits into the Baroque. Contrasted. theme of the festival.

Next up, another round of Baroque trivia.

Baroque. Contrasted: Daily Trivia 3

As promised, here’s another dose of daily trivia for you, featuring some of the lesser known composers we’ll be showcasing this week at Kings Place:

Biagio Marini (1594-1663) was an Italian virtuoso violinist and composer of the first half of the seventeenth century who married three times and had five children.  He was the first composer to notate tremolo (trembling) effects into his music.

Francisco Correa de Araujo (1584-1654) was a notable Spanish organist, composer, and theorist of the late Renaissance as well as a priest.

Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594), a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance, was rumoured to have been kidnapped three times because of the singular beauty of his singing voice.

More random facts tomorrow!

OAE staff natter about Baroque. Contrasted.

We let three OAE office staff loose on camera to talk about our concerts at Kings Place this week – and here are the results. There is some logic to this as the staff have all been closely involved not just with co-ordinating running and marketing the events but also with devising some of the more unusual events, such as Barqoue from Scratch and Sing Baroque! Have a watch and do come along this week – and if you recognise us from the video do come and say hello! Next up is another video with OAE leader Matthew Truscott talking about the programme of Bach, Purcell and Handel he has devised for the festival.

Baroque. Contrasted: Daily Trivia 2

Some more baroque trivia in the run up to our concerts at Kings Place this week. You can hear music from all the composers featured during our hour-long concerts this Thursday and Friday.

Tarquinio Merula (1594/5-1665) got into trouble with some of his students at a musical institution in Bergamo, and was charged with indecency. Listen to his Chiacona which features in Thursday’s concert

Giovanni Zamboni – whose exact dates are unknown –  was an accomplished composer for the theorbo as well as a jewel-maker and fine swordsman!

Bendinelli (1542-1617) was the author of the first known course of published trumpet lessons, Tutta L’arte Della Trombetta which gathered together the earliest known pieces for the clarino (higher) register, dating from 1584-88.

More trivia tomorrow, and we’ll be testing you all on Saturday!

Baroque. Contrasted: Daily Trivia

Next week sees the start of our mini-festival at Kings Place, Baroque. Contrasted.

We kick off on 6 April with 5 days of concerts, talks, demonstrations and two chances to join the OAE.  Most of the composers we’ll be featuring should be pretty familiar- Vivaldi, Purcell, Bach-  but we’re also showcasing some of the lesser-known but equally brilliant artists of the time.

Ahead of the opening night, we thought we’d give you a bit of daily trivia on some of these mysterious musicians…

Gottfried Finger (1660-1730) left London in a hurry in 1701 after allegedly being Baroque Contrastedunjustly passed over for a composition prize. He financed his departure with the sale of a set of trio sonatas, of which Op 5 No.10 (which we play on 7 April) is unusually scored for recorder, cello (or bassoon) and continuo.

Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682) was murdered in Genoa just months after penning the wedding cantata Il Barcheggio, probably after an unwitting controversy over a woman (who preferred him to another man – the likely murderer).

Dario Castello (1590-?) has no biographical information at all; even his birth and death dates are unknown, although it is thought he may have died during the great plague of 1630. He was probably associated with St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, where Claudio Monteverdi was maestro di capella.

For more info on the festival, including a free flippable brochure and details of how to book, visit

Next time…find out why composer Merula got into trouble…