Tuesday 13 September 2011

A View from a Musician

As the start of the 2011-12 season draws closer Principal 2nd violinist Miranda Dale talks about what its like to be a member of Britten Sinfonia.

Why Britten Sinfonia? For me it’s been the orchestra which has mirrored my career: as I left full-time musical education Britten Sinfonia was formed and our long-term musical affair began nearly 20 years ago. Since then we have achieved so much - our programming now stands firmly at the cutting edge of the international music scene and we are now touring extensively throughout the UK and internationally. This season we make our debut in both Dublin and New York both of which I am much looking forward too. The thrilling development of Britten Sinfonia has kept me inspired as a means of expressing myself both musically and personally.

Not a project goes by when we are not being stretched to capacity in some respect. Whether learning new techniques such as historically informed performances of Messiah, collaborations with some of the finest jazz or world musicians, or giving world premieres of new works by both established and up-and-coming young composers, each project involves a new and exciting challenge. I should at this point probably give further examples of musical genres which we are required to embrace but the beauty of Britten Sinfonia, I feel, is that there is no need to differentiate or categorise, music is just music!

All this clever programming and marrying together of like-minded international artists would not work, however, if the orchestra were not run in such a transparent and communicative way. In some respects we are all (musicians and management alike) artistic directors of Britten Sinfonia which is what makes us unique. I can think of numerous occasions over the years when I’ve had ideas about artists, players or the orchestra and have freely approached David Butcher, our Chief Executive, to be met with an enthusiastic response. Any problems are also handled with similar gusto and with a willingness to listen and act. In my opinion everybody pulls together, board members, management team and orchestral players to bring a dynamic, fresh approach to the modern chamber orchestra and the wonderful world of music.

Miranda Dale

Miranda will be leading the 2nd violins in the first concerts of the 2011-12 season which feature Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud in music by Mozart, Schubert, Berio and a new work by Piers Tattersall.

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