Published: 28 January 2010
by SEBASTIAN TAYLOR
A NEW format for presenting classical music is being launched at the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, tomorrow (Friday) by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
The OAE is taking the axe to the formal style of playing classical music in a concert setting, where audiences are quiet and reverential.
Instead, it will play The Night Shift in an informal, relaxed setting at the Roundhouse, allowing audiences the freedom to clap when they like, walk around, chat, laugh and have a drink. The aim is to break down the barriers between performers and the audience, making music more accessible.
Conductor Vladimir Jurowski and OAE members will seek to achieve greater audience involvement by talking about the music, offering insights and engaging in conversations. They will play Beethoven’s muscular Coriolan Overture and his dramatic Seventh Symphony.
Playing period instruments, the OAE ranks among our finest specialist orchestras and Jurowski is an exciting young conductor on the world stage. “Everyone talks about audiences for classical music getting older,” he says. “But you don’t have to be a pensioner to appreciate music. It wasn’t until the 19th century that middle-class mores transformed audiences into the hushed, reverential ones we know today. In those days, musicians engaged with and thrilled their audiences. The Night Shift is going back to those days, presenting the music as its composers expected it to be heard, without the formalities.”
• Roundhouse Collective will perform before and after the OAE.