Associate Artists: Arun Ghosh and the OAE

This summer, we’ve got two amazing (yet very different) Associate Artists working with us in Spitalfields. Our Chief Executive Abigail Pogson talks about why we invited the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Arun Ghosh to come and play in East London and what they have to offer at our Summer Festival 2014.

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We’ve been talking to Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment about we could work together for a number of years and this year felt right for them to join us as Associate Artists. This wonderfully ebullient and creative group of musicians have a set of ideas which was impossible to avoid making happen. The OAE and Spitalfields Music have many similarities in outlook: a closeness to audiences, an interest in exploring new creative avenues, a passionate commitment to involving young people in music, and an informal, fun-loving style. Underlying this is a shared world view – an absolute dedication to producing high quality music and letting this speak directly to as wide an audience as possible.

So it may feel as if you find them in every corner of the Summer Festival brochure, from the opening concert in Christ Church Spitalfields which promises to lift the roof off Hawksmoor’s masterpiece with the audience participating in the chorales, through pop-up lunchtime concerts, to their side-by-side participation in Platform, our showcase for young talent from across Tower Hamlets. One thing is for sure, while they are with us for two weeks of festival-time, we know they will mix with our audiences and participants and become part of Spitalfields life.

Arun Ghosh’s Associate Artist series begins as it means to go on with A Spitalfields Suite in our opening weekend. This is his new composition for an ensemble of ten, exploring experiences of the area’s migrant communities. We have known Arun for a number of years and he has performed across the borough, including in our local schools. He also presents a chance for you to participate, in a celebration of communal music-making with songs from historic to present-day Spitalfields. Arun is an extraordinary musician with the widest musical reference you can imagine and his series promises to illuminate the Summer Festival.

This year we have a big first as our Associate Artists create a joint event at Village Underground called The Night Shift E1. It riffs on the OAE’s late-night series with a unique Spitalfields twist, as Arun joins the OAE REMIX ensemble to rework baroque masterpieces and young musicians craft interludes across the evening.

I’m really intrigued by what these two seemingly very different Associate Artists will come up with and I’m looking forward to the prospect of enjoying their series together. How lucky we are in Spitalfields to have these extraordinary musicians live with us for two weeks in June!

Abigail Pogson
Chief Executive

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