Handel's Messiah

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HANDEL MESSIAH HWV 56 Presented at St Paul's, Knightsbridge

Conductor Christian Curnyn

SOLOISTS Soprano Anna Dennis Mezzo-soprano Christine Rice Tenor Hugo Hymas Baritone Dingle Yandell

We are grateful for the support of Jenny and Tim Morrison and Sir Martin and Lady Smith OBE for making this recording possible. A lso, a special thanks to Fr Alan Gyle, Phil Davies and Adam Modzelewski at St Paul's Knightsbridge.



Violin I Huw Daniel Andrew Roberts Daniel Edgar

Soprano Jessica Cale Miriam Allan Daisy Walford

Violin II Rodolfo Richter Henry Tong

Counter-tenor David Clegg Tristram Cooke David Gould

Viola Max Mandel Cello Catherine Rimer Double Bass Kate Brooke Oboe Katharina Spreckelsen Daniel Bates Bassoon Sally Jackson Trumpet David Blackadder Phillip Bainbridge Timpani Adrian Bending Harpsichord and Organ Christopher Bucknall

Tenor Matthew Beale Nicholas Todd Nicholas Madden Bass Jonathan Brown Philip Tebb Robert Davies

PROGRAMME NOTES Christopher Gosland

MESSIAH George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

“Han’t you been at the Oratorio, says one? Oh! If you don’t see the Oratorio you see nothing, says t’other; so away I goes to the Oratorio where I saw indeed the finest Assembly of People I ever beheld in my Life, but, to my great Surprize, found this Sacred Drama a mere Consort, no Scenary, Dress or Action, so necessary to a Drama; but Handel was plac’d in a Pulpit, I suppose they call that their Oratory…” Anon., May 1732

Although the musical form known as the oratorio – a setting of a sacred text made up of dramatic, narrative and contemplative elements, its name derived from the oratories in which such works were usually performed – was well-established in Europe, particularly in Italy and Germany, by the end of the sixteenth century, it remained virtually unknown in England until Handel reinvented it in 1732, more or less by chance. In that year, to celebrate his birthday, the Choir of the Chapel Royal put on two staged performances of Esther, a masque on an Old Testament subject he had composed in about 1718, and Handel’s royal pupil Princess Anne expressed a desire to see it presented to the public at the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket. Permission for this was sought from the Bishop of London, who was also dean of the Chapel Royal; it was however refused, the bishop refusing to contemplate the representation of biblical characters on the stage of such an immoral establishment as an opera house, and although in the end members of the Chapel Royal choir were allowed to take part, this was only on terms that there was to be no action, no scenery and no costume.

Handel accepted this compromise; he filled out the original score with new arias and a number of new choruses, largely taken from his Coronation anthems, and the result was a full three-act entertainment – the “English Oratorio” – which proved highly popular – not least because it was all in English and therefore understandable by the audience.

Handel soon grasped the potentialities of this new form of entertainment, and by the end of his life had composed about seventeen more of them. Most of these followed the same pattern; in three parts or acts, with dramatic libretti based on Old Testament stories, music combining the styles of Italian opera and English church music and a prominent part for the chorus. There were however two exceptions, both prompted by Handel's friend Charles Jennens; one of them was Israel in Egypt and the other was Messiah, now universally regarded as Handel’s masterpiece.

Jennens described the text of Messiah as a “Scripture Collection”, and it was a considerable departure from the usual form of oratorio texts. Rather than being a contemporary retelling of an Old Testament story in more or less poetic form, it is a compilation of passages from the Bible, taken from both the Old and New Testaments and arranged with great skill so as to form a commentary or meditation on the fulfilment of God’s promise to redeem the world by the sacrifice of his only Son. Jennens divided it into three parts. The first contains the prophecies of salvation and of the coming of Messiah, the account of His birth and the miracles He performed during His time on earth, while the second deals with the Redemption itself through Christ’s suffering, passion and subsequent ascension, ending with God’s final triumph celebrated in the “Hallelujah” chorus. Part III might be described as a sort of epilogue, expounding the Christian doctrine of bodily resurrection and eternal life thereafter, with the victory over sin and death.

This remarkable feat of patchwork was sent to Handel in about July 1741, Jennens expressing the hope that he would “lay out his whole Genius and skill upon it, that the Composition may excel all his former compositions, as the Subject excels every other Subject”. Handel certainly got down to it pretty quickly; he began Part I on Saturday 22nd August, and the whole work was completed just over three weeks later, on 14th September. The manuscript shows very few slips, errors or signs of hesitation, and it is clear that Handel must have had right from the outset a clear picture of the shape the finished article would take, with its blend of choruses and solo numbers. In this original form it was scored unusually lightly, for strings, two trumpets and timpani; partly, no doubt, to ensure that the words could be easily heard, but also because at this stage Handel may have been uncertain what other instruments would be available for the first performance. It appears that at about this time he had received an invitation to spend a season in Dublin, a city then “famous for the gaiety and splendour of its court, the opulence and spirit of its principal inhabitants, the valour of its military, and the genius of its learned men”. It was also distinguished for the sharp disparity between the standard of living of the moneyed classes and that of the vast majority of its inhabitants, most of whom were wretchedly poor, and for this reason a tradition had grown up of giving concerts for charitable purposes; all profits from such concerts were given to such institutions as the public hospitals and almshouses. Some of Handel’s works had already been performed at one such concert given in 1736, and it seems that it was now being proposed that he should come in person to the city bringing with him a new work to be performed for the benefit of the latest hospital to be opened, Mercer’s Hospital. Almost certainly, therefore, Handel had Dublin specifically in mind when he set about the composition of Messiah, and the simplicity of the

scoring was the result of his lack of information about the musical forces that would be at his disposal. He actually arrived in Dublin in November 1741, and stayed there for over nine months; during this period he gave a number of highly successful concerts, of which the culmination was the first performance of Messiah on 13th April 1742. It took place in the recently-constructed Music Hall in Fishamble Street, with the participation of the choirs of the two Dublin cathedrals, comprising about 32 singers, and a team of soloists which included the delectable actress Susannah Cibber. As to the success of the evening, according to the local papers “ … the best Judges allowed it to be the most finished piece of Musick. Words are wanting to express the exquisite delight it afforded to the admiring, crouded Audience. The Sublime, the Grand, and the Tender, adapted to the most elevated, majestick and moving Words, conspired to transport and charm the ravished Heart and Ear…” There is a story that the performance was attended by the Chancellor of St Patrick’s, Patrick Delaney, who was so moved by Mrs Cibber’s performance of “He was despised” that he burst out: “Woman, for this be all thy sins forgiven thee”. A second performance on 3rd June met with equal success, and Handel returned to England with the firm intention of revisiting Ireland the following year for a further season of oratorios, although in the event this aim was not to be fulfilled. Messiah itself soon established itself as a fixture in the Dublin musical calendar; it was performed again by the Charitable Musical Society in February 1744 and thereafter became an annual event. In the light of the Dublin triumph, the reception given to Messiah in London was surprisingly lukewarm. To begin with, Charles Jennens, who had been somewhat mortified by Handel’s decision to present the work in Dublin rather than London, now took against it.

“His Messiah has disappointed me,” he wrote to a friend, “being set in great haste, tho’ [Handel] said he would be a year about it… I shall put no more Sacred Words into his hands, to be thus abus’d.” More seriously, plans to put on a performance at Covent Garden in March 1743 had provoked a controversy as to the propriety of such a work, dealing as it did with the central tenet of Christian belief, being presented in a theatre by theatrical performers. (At that date there would have been no question of opera-singers or amateurs being allowed to perform in a sacred building.) It may have been in an effort to avert such criticism that the concert, for 23rd March, was advertised simply as including “A New Sacred Oratorio”. There were two more performances in the following week, but audience reaction was by no means ecstatic, and although the oratorio was revived for two performances in Holy Week in 1745 – Handel made some changes at the insistence of Jennens, who was unwavering in his objections to what he saw as the faults in the work – it was dropped from the repertoire for some years. It reappeared in 1749, when Handel presented it, under its proper name, as the last of a season of oratorios performed in Lent at Covent Garden. The following year it was heard again at Covent Garden; and, crucially, there was a further performance a few weeks later in the new chapel of the Foundling Hospital which had been founded ten years earlier in Lamb’s Conduit Fields by the retired sea-captain and philanthropist Thomas Coram. The event was so successful that it was repeated a fortnight later, and the whole exercise resulted in the Hospital’s funds being increased by almost £1,000. Thus was a tradition established of two annual performances for the benefit of the Foundling Hospital, and thus also was Messiah established as the most popular of all Handel’s oratorios; by the date of his death in 1759 it had taken on a life of its own, being easily the most frequently performed of all his oratorios.

The performing history of Messiah since then has been almost a matter of myth. The full score was first published in 1767, giving access to the work to choirs and musical societies everywhere. Its status as Handel’s masterpiece was confirmed by its performance at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the centenary of his birth (a year early, but no matter), using a chorus of 257 voices and an orchestra of 250 including 26 oboes, 26 bassoons, 12 trumpets, 6 flutes, 12 horns, 6 trombones and a double bassoon. The Victorians took it up with enthusiasm, to say the least; there could hardly have been a town in the kingdom in which it was not performed at least once a year, generally with the “additional accompaniments” provided by Mozart in 1789. And for the Victorians quality meant quantity; the Westminster Abbey forces of 1784 were dwarfed by those of the first Handel Festival performance at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, in June 1859, the centenary of the composer’s death, in which an orchestra of 460 players accompanied a chorus of 2,765. “He shall feed His flock” could be heard played in the street on barrel-organs; Sir George Macfarren produced an edition which added a complete brass band to the orchestration. Such indiscriminate meddling with what Handel originally wrote gradually obscured the freshness of the music and the genius of Jennens’ text, to the extent that one critic writing in the thirties could only see in Messiah “the kind of music which… the butcher Cumberland could enjoy. It is the music of port wine and apoplexy”. Fortunately, a more modern approach has in the last few decades shorn away the elephantine agglomerations of the previous two centuries, and in performances such as tonight’s, with musical forces which approximate very closely to those used by Handel himself, it glows with fresh colours to make good Winton Dean’s claim that it “sums up to perfection and with the greatest eloquence the religious faith, ethical, congregational and utterly unmystical, of the average Englishman”.


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ABOUT ST PAUL'S KNIGHTSBRIDGE St Paul’s is one of London ’s most beautiful Victorian church buildings, a church that has served the needs of the people of Knightsbridge since the 1840s.

This elaborate and highly decorated building was the first church in London to champion the ideals of the ‘Oxford Movement’ – the so-called ‘Tractarians’ who sought to restore a sense of Catholic order and spirituality to the Established Church, and to enrich its worship by the recovery of its ancient traditions. St Paul’s today remains faithful to the vision of its founding fathers – and here you will meet a group of people who believe God is to be encountered in honesty of preaching, dignity of worship and in ‘the beauty of holiness’.

The building was consecrated in 1843, and the chancel with its rood screen and striking reredos was added in 1892 by the eminent church architect G.F. Bodley who was also responsible for the decoration of St Luke’s Chapel. The whole building is rich in Christian imagery and symbolism: the tiled panels around the walls of the nave, created in the 1870s by Daniel Bell, depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ; the 14 Stations of the Cross that intersperse the tiled panels, painted in the early 1920s by Gerald Moira, show scenes from the Crucifixion story; the font – regularly used to baptise new members of the Christian family – dates from 1842 and is carved with biblical scenes from both the Old and New Testaments; the statues of the Virgin and Child (1896) above the entrance to the Chapel, and of St Paul (1902) above the lectern, together with many other painted and carved depictions of saints and martyrs, testify to the great company of holy men and women who have participated in God’s work of salvation; the pulpit is adorned with symbols of the evangelists; and the whole architecture of the building draws the eye to the High Altar, to which, week by week, God’s faithful draw near to receive the bread and wine of Holy Communion. The church is featured in ‘London’s 100 Best Churches: an illustrated guide’ by Leigh Hatts (Canterbury Press, Norwich 2010) You can learn more about St Paul's Knightsbridge and plan your visit at www.stpaulsknightsbridge.org/


It is has been said that Handel’s Messiah may be the most popular piece of music that has ever been written, and certainly no other work even begins to approach it as a money raiser for good causes. Why is this? What is it about this sacred oratorio, written by Handel in just three weeks in August and September 1741 to provide him with new material for his forthcoming winter season in Dublin, that caused it to become a uniquely treasured part of the repertoire of professional and amateur orchestras and choirs the world over? My own love affair with Messiah began when I first sang it as a cathedral chorister some 65 years ago, since when my feelings for it have only deepened over countless performances, both as a singer and as an audience member. Then 19 years ago, in 2001, my relationship with this masterpiece underwent a complete transformation. Through a convoluted set of circumstances, I got it into my head that the time had come for me to graduate from being a humble listener, to trying my hand at actually conducting an orchestra. The orchestra I wished to conduct was the OAE, and the piece I selected was Messiah. That this was possible at all was solely because of my very close association with the Orchestra since their founding in the mid 80s (which happily continues to this day) and their consequent extraordinarily generous agreement to indulge my fantasy. I persuaded the wonderful Nicholas Kraemer, one of the orchestra’s favourite baroque conductors, to take me on as his pupil, and after 18 months’ intense study, on February 2nd 2003 (my 60th birthday) I achieved my dream in front of 500 people in the Banqueting House in Whitehall. I have subsequently conducted the piece a further 10 times. How would I summarise what I have learned about Messiah from all these experiences? First, that it is actually a combination of two masterpieces – Charles Jennens’s libretto and Georg Frideric Handel’s music. Both are works of genius. Jennens somehow manages to distil from the Old and New Testaments and the Book of Common Prayer the most beautifully crafted narrative, mixing high drama with spiritual hope. Handel then brings this libretto to life with truly breathtaking skill. Has there ever been a composer with a greater gift for communicating emotion using the simplest and most perceptive of musical devices? He does it time and time again in Messiah, through a completely absorbing sequence of 53 glorious and unforgettable pieces, then just when you think he must be running out of inspiration he gives us one of his greatest ever compositions, the monumental fugue of the Amen Chorus. No wonder that in front of him on his memorial statue in Westminster Abbey he has the score of ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth’.




Anna studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She has sung in productions at the Royal Opera, ENO, Opera North, Nuremberg Opera, Opera de Lille, La Scala Milan, Bregenz Festpiele and Göttingen Handel Festspiele.

Christine Rice studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. Her many operatic roles have included the title role in Carmen, Giulietta Les Contes d’Hoffman, Emilia Otello, the title role in The Rape of Lucretia, Sonyetka Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Blanca The Exterminating Angel, Judith Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Maddalena Rigoletto and Jenny Smith in Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; and two world premieres: Ariadne in Birtwistle’s The Minotaur and Miranda in Ades’ The Tempest all at Covent Garden. She made her debut at The Metropolitan Opera as Hansel and Giulietta Les contes d’Hoffmann and has appeared at many of the world’s leading opera houses, including the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, the Teatro Real Madrid, Dutch National Opera, Teatro di San Carlo, Seattle Opera, at Frankfurt Opera, Zurich, Geneva, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

In concert she has performed with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Hallé, Britten Sinfonia, English Baroque Soloists, the Orchestra of St Luke’s, Philharmonia Baroque, Arcangelo, I Solisti Veneti, Les Violons du Roy, Orquestra Gulbenkian, Les Arts Florissants, and Concerto Copenhagen amongst other orchestras. Her current season includes Katie Mitchell’s “New Dark Age” and the first hyper-reality opera, “Current Rising”, both at the Royal Opera House, performances of Mozart‘s Zauberflöte at Opera de Dijon, Ravel’s Shehérezade with Anima Eterna Brugge, Handel’s Ariodante at the Göttingen Festspiele, Blow’s Venus and Adonis at the Zaryadye Hall Moscow, Bach’s Matthew Passion at the Casa de Musica Porto and Handel‘s Acis and Galatea at the Buxton Festival.

Christine's concert appearances include Verdi’s Requiem with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, St Matthew Passion with John Nelson and the world premiere of Harbison’s Closer to my own Life with the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Recent and future engagements include a Wigmore Hall recital with Julius Drake, Britten’s Phaedra at the ROH directed by Deborah Warner, Oskar Fried’s Verklärte Nacht and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Federica Luisa Miller at the English National Opera and Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the LPO.



Hugo Hymas has travelled far and wide so far in his career performing frequently in Europe and also in the far East and USA. He recently made his first trip to Australia performing tenor solos in Purcell’s King Arthur with Gabrieli Consort. Recent concert performances include a German tour of Purcell and Handel with Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah in Helsinki with The English Concert, both Monteverdi’s Vespers and Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Dunedin Consort, Bach’s B minor mass with Münchener Motettenchor and Handel’s Semele with Monteverdi Choir directed by Thomas Guthrie as a semistaged concert performance for a tour which brought his debut at La Scala Milano. Hugo has also performed the role of Uriel in Haydn’s Creation with Les Arts Florissants in New York and on tour in France. Recent opera roles include Septimius in Theodora (Handel) for Potsdamer Winteroper, Jupiter in Semele (Handel) with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Indian Boy and Fame in The Indian Queen (Purcell) with Opera de Lille. Hugo is a keen song recitalist, a former Britten-Pears Young Artist, and is currently on the OAE’s Rising Stars scheme.

British Bass-Baritone Dingle Yandell studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Brian Parsons and now studies singing independently with Jessica Cash. He is an alumnus of the National Opera Studio and was a ‘Rising Star’ of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He is the grateful recipient of a Sybil Tutton Opera Award administered by Help Musicians UK. For eight years Dingle toured internationally with the award-winning British ensemble Voces8. Notable performances include Tokyo Opera City and Oji Hall, Tokyo, The Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, St Petersburg, Moscow International House of Music, National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing, National Concert Hall, Taipei, The Rheingau Festival, Germany, Köln Cathedral, The Minneapolis Basilica, The Wigmore Hall, Cité de la Musique, Paris, and Tel Aviv Opera House. He has also appeared regularly on BBC Radio, Classic FM and MPR and made many recordings for Signum Records and Decca Classics.

CHRISTIAN CURNYN Christian Curnyn is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading conductors specialising in the Baroque and Classical repertoire. In 1994 Christian founded the Early Opera Company with whom he appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall and St John’s Smith Square for the London Festival of Baroque Music. They have also performed at the BBC Proms as well as at the Cheltenham, Spitalfields, York Early Music and Kilkenny Arts Festivals. Much in demand on the operatic scene, in the UK Christian has conducted for Scottish Opera (Handel Semele), Opera North (Handel’s Saul), Grange Park Opera (Semele, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and Cavalli’s Eliogabalo) and with Garsington Opera (Die Zauberflöte). He is a regular at English National Opera where successes have included Olivier Award-winning productions of Handel’s Partenope and Rameau’s Castor et Pollux (dir. Barrie Kosky), After Dido (Katie Mitchell’s realisation of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas), Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Charpentier’s Medée, and Handel's Rodelinda. For The Royal Opera, Covent Garden he has conducted Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera, Cavalli's L'Ormindo to inaugurate their series at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, where he returned for Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo (nominated for an Olivier Award), and Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse at The Roundhouse. Further afield he has worked with Opera Australia (Partenope), Landestheater Salzburg (Vivaldi’s Farnace and Handel’s Ariodante), Frankfurt Opera (Cavalli’s La Calisto and Gluck’s Ezio), Komische Oper Berlin (Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and Zoroastre), Stuttgart Opera (Rameau’s Platée, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Handel’s Alcina) and Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos (Mozart Idomeneo). In the USA Christian has conducted Partenope and Cosi fan Tutte for New York City Opera, Handel's Tolomeo for Glimmerglass Opera, and Cavalli's Giasone and Charpentier’s Medée for Chicago Opera Theater. Specialist early music ensembles among Christian’s regular collaborators include Academy of Ancient Music, AKAMUS, English Concert, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Irish and Wroclaw Baroque orchestras. Alongside this work he takes a particular interest in performing Baroque and Classical repertoire with modern forces, including collaborations with Bournemouth Symphony, Ulster, Hallé, Scottish Chamber (including a recording on the Decca label with Nicola Benedetti), Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony, and Essen Philharmoniker. He also recently conducted a Messiah tour in Australia with the Tasmanian, West Australian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. Recent and forthcoming highlights include a double-bill of Blow Venus and Adonis and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Early Opera Company (Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut), The Royal Opera Covent Garden (Solomon), Opera North (Giulio Cesare), Theatre Basel (Le nozze di Figaro), Garsington Opera (Amadigi), as well as further new productions for The Royal Opera House and performances with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Budapest Festival Orchestra, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. His extensive discography with the Early Opera Company for the Chandos label includes their 2005 recording of Partenope which won widespread critical acclaim, and their recording of Semele was chosen as a Best Recording of 2008 by The Sunday Times, Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine and awarded the 2008 Stanley Sadie Handel Prize. Further releases include includes Il Trionfo del Tempo for Wigmore Live, Eccles’ The Judgement of Paris, (awarded a Diapason d’Or), Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera, Handel’s Flavio, Alceste (winner of the Opera award in the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013), Serse, and most recently Acis & Galatea (winner of the Opera category of the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Awards).

“Not all orchestras are the same” Three decades ago, a group of inquisitive London musicians took a long hard look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born. And as this distinctive ensemble playing on period-specific instruments began to get a foothold, it made a promise to itself. It vowed to keep questioning, adapting and inventing as long as it lived. Those original instruments became just one element of its quest for authenticity. Baroque and Classical music became just one strand of its repertoire. Every time the musical establishment thought it had a handle on what the OAE was all about, the ensemble pulled out another shocker: a Symphonie Fantastique here, some conductor-less Bach there. All the while, the Orchestra’s players called the shots. At first it felt like a minor miracle. Ideas and talent were plentiful; money wasn’t. Somehow, the OAE survived to a year. Then to two. Then to five. It began to make benchmark recordings and attract the finest conductors. It became the toast of the European touring circuit. It bagged distinguished residencies at Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. It began, before long, to thrive. And then came the real challenge. The ensemble’s musicians were branded eccentric idealists. And that they were determined to remain. In the face of the music industry’s big guns, the OAE kept its head. It got organised but remained experimentalist. It sustained its founding drive but welcomed new talent. It kept on exploring performance formats, rehearsal approaches and musical techniques. It searched for the right repertoire, instruments and approaches with even greater resolve. It kept true to its founding vow.

In some small way, the OAE changed the classical music world too. It challenged those distinguished partner organisations and brought the very best from them, too. Symphony and opera orchestras began to ask it for advice. Existing period instrument groups started to vary their conductors and repertoire. New ones popped up all over Europe and America. And so the story continues, with ever more momentum and vision. The OAE’s series of nocturnal Night Shift performances have redefined concert parameters. Its former home, London’s Kings Place, has fostered further diversity of planning and music-making. The ensemble has formed the bedrock for some of Glyndebourne’s most ground-breaking recent productions. In keeping with its values of always questioning, challenging and trailblazing, in September 2020, the OAE became the resident orchestra of Acland Burghley School, Camden. The residency – a first for a British orchestra – allows the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment to live, work and play amongst the students of the school. Remarkable people are behind it. Simon Rattle, the young conductor in whom the OAE placed so much of its initial trust, still cleaves to the ensemble. Iván Fischer, the visionary who punted some of his most individual musical ideas on the young orchestra, continues to challenge it. Mark Elder still mines it for luminosity, shade and line. Vladimir Jurowski, the podium technician with an insatiable appetite for creative renewal, has drawn from it some of the most revelatory noises of recent years. And, most recently, it’s been a laboratory for John Butt’s most exciting Bach experiments. All five of them share the title Principal Artist. Of the instrumentalists, many remain from those brave first days; many have come since. All seem as eager and hungry as ever. They’re offered ever greater respect, but continue only to question themselves. Because still, they pride themselves on sitting ever so slightly outside the box. They wouldn’t want it any other way. ©Andrew Mellor


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Ms Madeleine Hodgkin Mrs Sarah Holford

Nigel Jones and Francoise Valat-Jones Peter & Veronica Lofthouse Mark and Liza Loveday Mr Andrew Nurnberg

Old Possum's Practical Trust Imogen and Haakon Overli

The Reed Foundation Associate Patrons

Charles and Julia Abel Smith Noël and Caroline Annesley

Sir Richard Arnold and Mary Elford

Catherine and Barney Burgess Katharine Campbell

David and Marilyn Clark David Emmerson

Peter and Sally Hilliar

Steven Larcombe

Moira and Robert Latham

Sir Timothy and Lady Lloyd

Alison McFadyen

Roger Mears and Joanie Speers

David Mildon in memory of Lesley Mildon

MM Design - France

Cynthia and Neil McClennan

Jonathan Parker Charitable Trust

John Ransom

Peter Rosenthal

Alan Sainer

Sue Sheridan OBE

Mr and Mrs Tony Timms

The Patrick Rowland Foundation

David Wilson

Peter Stebbings Memorial Charity

John Nickson and Simon Rew Andrew and Cindy Peck

Ivor Samuels and Gerry Wakelin

Emily Stubbs and Stephen McCrum

Shelley von Strunckel

Old Possum’s Practical Trust

Paul Rivlin

Palazzetto Bru-Zane

Matthew & Sarah Shorter Mrs Joy Whitby

Mr J Westwood

Six Anonymous Donors

Two Anonymous Donors

Young Patron

Gold Friends

Marianne and William Cartwright-Hignett

Robert Wilkinson

Ed Abel Smith

Michael Brecknell

Elizabeth George

Mr and Mrs C Cochin de Billy

Sam Hucklebridge

Anthony and Carol Rentoul

Peter Yardley-Jones

Gerard Cleary Chris Gould

David and Ruth Samuels Mr Anthony Thompson

David Gillbe

Henry Mason

Young Ambassador Patron

Two Anonymous Donors

Jessica Kemp

Silver Friends

Rebecca Miller

Dennis and Sheila Baldry

Tony Burt

Breandán Knowlton

Apax Foundation

Anthony and Jo Diamond

Ashley Family Foundation

Rachel & Charles Henderson Malcolm Herring

Patricia Herrmann

Rupert and Alice King

Chapman Charitable Trust Derek Hill Foundation

Bronze Friends

Dyers Company

D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust Ernest Cook Trust

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Fidelio Charitable Trust Foyle Foundation

Sir Anthony & Lady Cleaver

Garfield Weston Foundation

Roger Easy

Geoffrey Watling Charity

Michael A Conlon Mrs SM Edge

Mrs Mary Fysh

Stephen & Cristina Goldring Martin and Helen Haddon

Garrick Charitable Trust Henocq Law Trust

JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation J Paul Getty Jnr

General Charitable Trust

Ray and Liz Harsant

John Lyon’s Charity

Mrs Auriel Hill

Lord and Lady Lurgan Trust

The Lady Heseltine Julian Markson Stuart Martin

Pitt-Rivers Charitable Trust Radcliffe Trust

Rainbow Dickinson Trust RK Charitable Trust

Schroder Charity Trust Sir James Knott Trust Sobell Foundation

Stanley Picker Trust

The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust The Loveday Charitable Trust

The R&I Pilkington Charitable Trust The Shears Foundation

The Vernon Ellis Foundation

Brian Mitchell Charitable Settlement

Chivers Trust

Dan Burt

PF Charitable Trust

Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust

Her Honour Suzanne Stewart

Graham and Claire Buckland

Peter Cundill Foundation

Boshier-Hinton Foundation

Two Anonymous Donors

Robin Broadhurst

Paul Bassham Charitable Trust

Barbour Foundation

The Charles Peel Charitable Trust

Tony Baines

Parabola Foundation

Arts Council England

Alison and Ian Lowdon Susannah Simons

Orchestras Live

Trusts & Foundations

Christopher Campbell

Mr and Mrs Michael Cooper

National Foundation for Youth Music

Stephen and Penny Pickles

Linbury Trust

Metropolitan Masonic Charity

Michael Marks Charitable Trust

The OAE continues to grow and thrive through the generosity of our supporters. We are very grateful to our sponsors and Patrons and hope you will consider joining them. We offer a close involvement in the life of the Orchestra with many opportunities to meet players, attend rehearsals and even accompany us on tour. For more information on supporting the OAE please contact Emily Stubbs Development Director


0208 159 9318

WE MOVED INTO A SCHOOL We are thrilled to announce that we are now the resident orchestra of Acland Burghley School in Camden, North London. The residency – a first for a British orchestra – allows us to live, work and play amongst the students of the school. Three offices have been adapted for our administration team, alongside a recording studio and library. We use the Grade II listed school assembly hall as a rehearsal space, with plans to refurbish it under the school’s ‘A Theatre for All’ project, so for the first time, we will all be in the same place: players, staff and library! Crispin Woodhead, our chief executive who came up with the idea of a new partnership: “Our accommodation at Kings Place was coming to an agreed end and we needed to find a new home. I felt that we should not settle for a conventional office space solution. We already had a strong relationship with many schools in Camden through our education programme and our appeal hit the desk of Kat Miller, director of operations at Acland Burghley School. She was working on ways to expand the school’s revenue from its resources and recognised that their excellent school hall might be somewhere we could rehearse. It felt like a thunderbolt and meant we wanted to find a way for this place to be our home, and embark on this new adventure to challenge and transform the way we engage with young adults.” The school isn't just our landlord or physical home. Instead, it will offer the opportunity to build on twenty years of work in the borough through OAE’s long-standing partnership with Camden Music. Having already worked in eighteen of the local primary schools that feed into ABS, the plans moving forward are to support music and arts across the school into the wider community. This new move underpins our core ‘enlightenment’ mission of reaching as wide an audience as possible. A similar project was undertaken in 2015 in Bremen, Germany. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie moved into a local comprehensive school in a deprived area and the results were described as “transformational”, with improved academic performance, language skills, mental health and IQ scores; reputational benefits; greater interest in and engagement with music among pupils; strengthened links between school, orchestra and community; and even, according to some of the musicians who took part, an improvement in the Kammerphilharmonie’s playing. Margaret Faultless, OAE leader and violinist, said: “As classical musicians, it can often feel as though we exist in a bubble. I think I can speak for the whole Orchestra when I say that we’re all looking forward to this new adventure. We are all used to meeting with people from outside the classical music world of course, but the value of our new project lies in the long-term work we’ll be doing at the school and the relationship that will hopefully develop between the students, their parents and teachers and the orchestra.” “The members of the Bremen Kammerphilharmonie said their experience actually improved them as an orchestra and I think the same will happen to us over the next five or so years, and it will remind all of us of the reasons we make music, which are sometimes easy to forget, especially in our strange and troubled times.” continues Margaret. “I am certainly looking forward to learning from the young people at Acland Burghley and in turn introducing them to the joys of our music and music-making.” The move has been made possible with a leadership grant of £120,000 from The Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Their support is facilitating the move to the school and underwriting the first three years of education work.

OAE EDUCATION A PROGRAMME TO INVOLVE, EMPOWER AND INSPIRE Over the past twenty years OAE Education has grown in stature and reach to involve thousands of people nationwide in creative music projects. Our participants come from a wide range of backgrounds and we pride ourselves in working flexibly, adapting to the needs of local people and the places they live. The extensive partnerships we have built up over many years help us engage fully with all the communities where we work to ensure maximum and lasting impact. We take inspiration from the OAE's repertoire, instruments and players. This makes for a vibrant, challenging and engaging programme where everyone is involved; players, animateurs, composers, participants, teachers, partners and stakeholders all have a valued voice.

SUPPORT OUR EDUCATION PROGRAMME The work we do could not happen without the support of our generous donors. If you would like to support our education programme please contact Marina Abel Smith, Head of Individual Giving and Digital Development marina.abelsmith@oae.co.uk 0208 159 9319

OAE TOTS at Saffron Hall

oae.co.uk  orchestraoftheageofenlightenment  theoae  oae_photos

The OAE is a registered charity number 295329 Registered company number 2040312. Acland Burghley School, 93 Burghley Road, London NW5 1UH 0208 159 9310 | info@oae.co.uk Photography | Zen Grisdale

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