With a new Artistic Director, branding and three new residencies, OOTS is reaching new heights.
Orchestra of the Swan (OOTS), the Stratford-upon-Avon-based orchestra, internationally renowned for its unique and distinctive sound, has recently announced its new 2018-2019 season of concerts and it’s clear that something has changed.
The new Artistic Director, David Le Page, also OOTS Concert Master, has infused his unique sense of creativity in the new programming and the 40-plus concerts throughout the UK (from Tunbridge Wells to Stanford-upon-Avon, including of course Warwickshire, Birmingham and Worcestershire) clearly show a different approach. David Le Page said: “I’m thrilled to be taking on the role of Artistic Director of OOTS at this pivotal moment in the orchestra’s journey; building on past achievements and, alongside our players and the management team, creating groundbreaking new pathways.”
The new brand identity also reflects a new era for Orchestra of the Swan.
Chris Wheeler, graphic designer, who developed the new logo said: “When you’re working with an organisation that is continually achieving national and international recognition for outstanding performances, innovative programming and a highly accessible style of presentation, inspiration is easy. The players smile, they are enjoying themselves; the audience is part of this enjoyment too. So the sum total of all components is a brand that communicates classical modernity, sophistication and fun – I hope you feel the branding smiles also.”
The 2018-19 season kicks off with English Fantasies for String Orchestra at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon on 25 September, when we will hear three of the 20th century’s finest pieces for string orchestra paired with the works by which they were inspired and on which they were based. Other highlights include the Afro-American violinist Tai Murray with Julian Lloyd Webber on the podium, clarinetist Michael Collins, the return of Tasmin Little, conductor Kenneth Wood, pianist Peter Donohoe and Associate Artists Lucia Caruso and Pedro H. Da Silva.
What is really innovative in the next season is the new Stratford concert series, christened Night Owl, at the Shakespeare Street Cocktail Bar & Nightclub (formally Shakespeare Number 1). Featuring members of OOTS plus a lineup of very special guests (Clara Sanabras and Harvey Brough, Mark Ashford, Matthew Sharp, David Gordon and Eleanor Turner), the Night Owl Series presents six nights of thrilling, high-quality music in an intimate and relaxed Ronnie Scott’s atmosphere.
OOTS presents a new residency in Birmingham, at the state-of-the-art Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, after years of terrific performances at Town Hall. OOTS’ residency will not only include five concerts with international soloists but also enable students to enjoy performance and composition masterclasses with its soloists and core players, to join in rehearsals sitting alongside its skilled professional players and offer them the chance to compete in an in-house competition winning a valuable concerto performance with the orchestra every year.
Similarly, from September 2018, OOTS will provide the entire classical music output in a third new residency, The Courtyard, an arts hub in Hereford, with three core concerts (featuring Tai Murray, Peter Donohoe and Nicholas Daniel), a free circus-themed family concert (31 October), a school’s concert in April 2019, 4 foyer concerts, 4 rural concerts and a series of workshops in care homes for those with dementia annually.