“For the same reason we are bound to believe that, as neither the beautiful neither the ugly is universal,” claimed the French composer Hector Berlioz in 1844. “Certain operas, which are every day represented and applauded (on Earth), will be hissed off the stage on Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Venus.”Read More
Today members of the Orchestra are flying out to Singapore for a seven date tour of South East Asia, including our first ever concerts in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and Brunei. We’ll also be returning to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where we played with Iván Fischer and Steven Isserlis in 2006.
It’s all part of Toyota Classics, an annual classical music tour Toyota has promoted since 1990 to support charities across Asia.Read More
Somewhere beyond Neptune, travelling into interstellar space at more than 38,000mph, is humankind’s most distant object, Voyager 1.
Launched in 1977, the spacecraft gave us extraordinary images of Jupiter and Saturn, and still sends messages home. The most famous is the ‘Pale Blue Dot’ photograph, taken from the edge of the solar system and depicting Earth from 3.7 billion miles away.Read More
The term ‘chamber’ is often used to describe bands of various sizes, from string quartets to medium-sized orchestra. But what does ‘chamber music’ really mean? And where did it come from?
Our Chief Executive Crispin Woodhead explains.
What is this big beast of the orchestra, and where did it come from?
David Chatterton introduces the contrabassoon as heard in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Haydn’s Creation.Read More
‘A whole hillside of sheep goes into making the bottom string’.
Cecelia Bruggemeyer, our long-time double bass player, introduces its baroque ancestor.
Violone: literally ‘big viol’ ; a general term used to refer to baroque bass instruments of various sizes and tunings
1. a general word for a non-specified bass instrument or bass line
2. shorthand for double bass
Double-bass (Eng.), Contrebasse (Fr.): a bass stringed instrument that sounds an octave lower than the written pitchRead More
Meet the Scientists
Get to know the speakers, scientists and thinkers who’ll be exploring all things extraterrestrial in the next season of Bach, the Universe & Everything.Read More
“It really changes the way we think about the music”.
Our Co-Principal Keyboard, Steven Devine, introduces the predecessor of the modern piano, the fortepiano.
It’s the type of instrument Haydn, Mozart and the young Beethoven would have known and composed for.Read More
The Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience gives gifted period instrument players the chance to work alongside OAE players. The year-long scheme is aimed at players nearing the end of their studies, to help bridge the gap between conservatoire education and a professional career.Read More
We’re extremely excited to announce all the dates in our next series of Bach, the Universe & Everything, at Kings Place in partnership with the Institute of Physics.Read More
Haydn’s Surprise Symphony isn’t just one dramatic moment. Our Chief Executive Crispin explains why Haydn is the ‘King of Symphonies’.Read More
Here’s Max Mandel, our co-principal viola, on what you should track down next…
I hate having to defend Joseph Haydn, but it’s a position I find myself in quite often. A colleague of mine asked me in front of a pianist friend to choose, gun to my head, between the string quartets of Haydn and the string quartets of Mozart. I didn’t hesitate for a second with my answer: Haydn.Read More
Here’s the programme for our Schiff’s Surprise concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 4 July 2018. You can pick up a hard copy for free on the night.Read More
We’re thrilled to announce the distinguished pianist and conductor Sir András Schiff as our new Principal Artist.
Sir András conducts and plays in our Schiff’s Surprise concert on Wednesday 4 July at Queen Elizabeth Hall, or at the Cheltenham Music Festival on Sunday 8 July 2018.Read More
Here’s the programme for our Dangerous Liaisons concert on Tuesday 26 June at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. You can pick up a hard copy on the night for free!Read More
It’s always very exciting to have new player members joining the orchestra, and we’ve just appointed six new violinists to our violin section.
All six have already been playing with us in concerts for over 18 months and we look forward to having them perform with us over the course of many more seasons. They are:
Henry Tong (pictured)
Is love what you think it is?
Our Baroque dance spectacular, Dangerous Liaisons, tells a classic love story. But in the Baroque era, composers were influenced by a very different theory of why people fell in love than we have now.Read More
The Carpenters. The Corrs. The Magic Numbers. Put a brother and sister together and get them to write music, and it doesn’t always turn out well.
But in the early 19th century things were different, when Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn were changing the music world with their new Romantic sounds.Read More
Here’s the programme for our performance of Der Rosenkavalier on Thursday 17 May at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. You can pick up a physical copy free of charge on the night itself.Read More
Why did silent films have music? How do orchestras perform to silent films?
We asked Ben Winters (senior lecturer in music at the Open University and expert on music in films) to explain.Read More