Wednesday 19 September 2012

Britten Sinfonia management at 20 years old

Yesterday talk in the office turned to what we were all doing when we were 20 years old. Some of the stories are completely unpublishable but here's a selection of what the management team were up to. And by the way I'm not going to give away our current ages - now that would be embarrassing (for some of us anyway);

Development Assistant
Living with 2 video-game producers who never showered in Peckham Rye, unemployed and living off one bowl of cereal a day

Finance Director
backpacking around Australia

Creative Learning Director
I had to leave university to have my leg fixed and found a job working for the water board during which I got to drive a big white van (with a light on!)

Programme Note Writer
I started working at Britten Sinfonia as Concerts Assistant

Marketing Director
I was studying music at Southampton University. Spending most of my time wearing a big black baggy jumper and army boots whilst drinking cheap red wine and smoking roll-ups thinking (wrongly!) I was quite Bohemian!

Orchestra Manager
I was in my first year studying music at Manchester University

Concerts Assistant
I dated someone who sported a fozzie bear backpack, threadbare with matted fur.  The person in question worked for a College bar at Uni and used to celebrate special days with a shape in the foam on my snakebite & black… e.g. a Cross for St. George’s Day, Shamrock for St. Patrick’s, heart for Valentine’s and so on…

Creative Learning Assistant
I was playing at the Casa del Jazz in Rome with my University Jazz Orchestra

Finance Assistant
I was working in Cambridge as a Bought Ledger Clerk, living with my parents.  That summer I went on holiday to Tenerife with my boyfriend, our first holiday aboard together ( the boyfriend is now my husband).  I drove an electric blue Mini which I loved and was growing out my perm that I had for most of the 80’s(not a good look).

Britten Sinfonia celebrates its 20th Birthday during the 2012-13 season. Check out our anniversary season here

Monday 17 September 2012

A view from a steward

As our 20th Birthday season approaches we've been asking various people their thoughts on Britten Sinfonia and what event has been a highlight for them. Beth Morgan,  a regular steward in Cambridge picked out one of her highlights;

It has been a great delight and privilege to steward for the Britten Sinfonia for the last 5 years. The wide-ranging programmes, the new music, the relationships that the orchestra develops with guest performers and composers, all add up to series after series of special concerts.

One lunchtime concert earlier this year was devoted to a cycle where Luke Bedford took Franck’s Piano Quintet in F minor and interspersed its 3 movements with 3 of his own. The result was wonderfully stimulating and the audience left the auditorium on a high. I lost count of the number of people who wanted to share their excitement with the stewards. I think we all went home very happy that day.

Beth Morgan

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Take-off for Britten Sinfonia Academy!

After six lengthy days of auditions across the East of England, where we met many lovely enthusiastic and talented musicians, we have finally selected 18 young instrumentalists to join the first year of Britten Sinfonia Academy. The chosen young talented musicians represent the whole of the East of England, and come from Saxmundham to St Neots, Colchester to Cambridge, and rural Norfolk to Newmarket! The ensemble comprises a ten person string section, three wind and three brass players, a harpist and a pianist, who range in age from 12 year-old violinist, to 17 year-old double bass player.

We were delighted to finally meet the group this Sunday, and to spend time getting to know one another. Starting with rhythms and modes, we created music together as a group, through improvisation. The essence of the afternoon was to start to communicate as an ensemble; to listen to one-another and to make music together, to build trust, and to look forward to what is to come. Qualities which are present in so much of Britten Sinfonia’s own music making – the spark of energy on sharing a musical moment with another member of the group, or the excitement of starting on a musical adventure together – were captured during the afternoon, and we hope that this flavour for exploration and communication will remain when the group meet again at the end of the month. At the end of September, the ensemble will start to work on repertoire, including the new composition by Alissa Firsova, which the Academy will be performing, alongside Britten Sinfonia at our 20th Birthday concerts in Cambridge, Norwich and at the Barbican Centre in London this October. 

After the session, the gang relaxed and got to know each other better over pizza in the park.

Find out more about Britten Sinfonia Academy here

Isobel Timms
Creative Learning Director