Projects EO-LAB II

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

The project of the Czech Philharmonic works with children from Roma communities in East Bohemia. A choir has been formed from these children led by the artistic director of the project Ida Kelarová. Regular rehearsals once a week have been established and continuous work results into final concerts twice a year with participation of musicians from the Czech Philharmonic.
The partner non-profit organisation Chance for You, which works with communities in East Bohemia region, helps us to make some progress in an area which we had not anticipated. What is dealt with is not just the music side of the matter, but also the need for school lessons or consultations with doctors. Here is a chance to have an impact on these matters which can be of key importance for the future lives of children.
Musicians from the Czech Philharmonic play a front role in musical and non-musical workshops with the children. The close cooperation between musicians and children brings completely new challenges to the musicians and life changing experiences to the children.

‘The coexistence of the Romanian and non-Roma communities is a powerful topic in our country. It doesn’t make much sense to talk about: it´s better just to do something. In my opinion, Ida Kelarová is doing the best she can do: giving children a chance at a better life. While being strict and professional, she awakens not only the musical talent within them, but also their pride and responsibility for themselves.’ 
David Mareček, Managing Director

‚Joint concerts with Roma children and Czech Philharmonic musicians open doors not only between these two groups, but also attract an audience that gets absolutely involved. This makes it an incredible experience.‘
Jan Holeňa, cellist

Hallé Orchestra

Thank Hallé it’s Friday!’ is a programme of popular classics for those looking to experience a shorter concert at a different time of day to start their weekend. It also offers the opportunity for members of the public to sing along with the Orchestra in five choral items in the programme. Members of the public can attend just one rehearsal, or engage in weekly sessions over several months as part of our Choral Academy, focussing not only on vocal technique but also music reading skills.  To raise the profile of the project we have also held several business development workshops and singing ‘meet-ups’ (workshops) across the region.  
The whole project has been designed, programmed and delivered by musician leaders from the Orchestra, our Choral Team, and members across different Administration departments. This collaborative approach has proved invaluable for improving understanding, communication and respect across the whole organisation.

‘The collaboration across the organisation that this project has required and engendered has been remarkable, and especially, for me, the opportunity for choral musicians to work closely with orchestral players. It has enabled us not only to bring a new audience to hear our work, but also to connect with singers across the city and beyond in a new and exciting way.’
Matthew Hamilton, Hallé Choral Director

Ulster Orchestra

Musicians from the Ulster Orchestra designed and managed a series of events in Derry~Londonderry, working closely with community ambassadors, focusing on finding a wider audience and bringing together divided (Catholic and Protestant) communities by shared (and musically transformed) narratives. The project marked the start of an exciting new chapter in the relationship between the Orchestra and the city. The project has spanned all genres of music across the city.

It has long been my ambition to connect orchestral musicians directly into society to share inspirational experiences.’ 
Richard Wigley, Managing Director

‘I am now both a job-sharing viola player and animator for the Ulster Orchestra, facilitating community collaborations, education workshops and pre-concert engagements. I provide support, project ideas, workshop plans and arrangements for colleagues and introduce the Ulster Orchestra to a diverse new audience. It has been a steep learning curve. I admit that administration and deadlines are not really in my nature. I have learned much about the issues facing society and I am often responsible for giving a voice to those in need of being heard. I straddle the line between players and management. And I still have the privilege of being a small part of a symphony orchestra at full steam.’ 
Jonathan Simmance, viola player and staff member

Barcelona Symphony Orchestra

The focus of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra’s project over 3 seasons is to bring classical music closer to youth. In 2016/2017 orchestra musicians worked with youth panels and ambassadors, giving youngsters the opportunity to design chamber music concerts and a full symphony concert for their peer group and regular concert goers. In the 2017/2018 season the project was taken to a next level, by offering youngsters not only to work together with musicians but even to perform together in a specially designed symphony concert with a choir consisting of youth and friends of the orchestra.  Two choirs of 350 and 700 singers participated in 3 orchestral concerts. A very good base to build on the last (2018/2019) season of the project.

A dossier* with more than 200 signatures and text was done by the participants and given to all the staff to thank us. The first page says:

‘Thank you OBC and thank you to the musicians of the OBC. We have rehearsed hard and during many days and we are now with you on stage. The moment the orchestra started playing and we joined is unforgettable ...We will come to concerts, but now with the pride of knowing the hard work that is behind any of the OBC productions. It has been a vital experience that we will never forget.’

*From a document offered to the OBC signed by hundreds of participants in the OBC project.

Netherlands Symphony Orchestra

After having pitched their project plans targeting new or wider audiences, 4 musicians of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra were selected to become project leaders. They were trained during a specially designed course and developed their project plans from there in close cooperation with ambassadors from their target audiences. Each of the four projects had its own focus (businesses and institutions, amateur wind players, health care institutions, and potential audience groups in a specific city). The musician leaders - and through them the orchestra- succeeded in all 4 projects to engage closely with participants, communities and new audiences.

‘I am impressed by the results achieved by our musicians who had the courage to design and lead these unconventional projects and I am moved by the impact on the communities they worked with. These results on both sides are of high value for the future of our orchestra.’ 
Kees Meijer, Managing Director

‘For me it was a great experience to bring people together with music. Despite the difficulties that arose, in the end a setback often turned out to a blessing in disguise. We really were able to build bridges'.
Tim Nobel, bass player and project leader

Tonkünstler Orchestra

Musicians in the Tonkünstler Orchestra designed, planned and delivered seven stylistically diverse musical projects. The projects, known as ‘Klanginseln’ (islands of sound), transformed public and private spaces across Lower Austria and Vienna into meeting places where people could come into contact with classical music. The Klanginseln took on a variety of unexpected forms: from a hillside walk, a musical soirée and a DJ workshop to an artistic performance, a traditional tavern session of Gstanzl songs and an event in a legendary Vienna discotheque.

The project offered a platform not only to make the orchestra more well-known, but also to use the uniqueness of the projects and the work with local partners to enable interactions between musicians and the public. Another major benefit was that musicians organized their projects independently and therefore gained a better understanding of management and a general insight into the work of the management team.

The final concert was entitled ‘Erlebe das Ganze’ (‘Experience the whole’). It showcased the best of all the Klanginseln and marked a successful end to the project.

Romanian National Symphony Orchestra

Based on their pitched ideas musicians from the Romanian National Symphony Orchestra were selected and enabled to design small and larger scale concerts in different cities of the orchestra’s catchment area. The projects don’t focus exclusively on reaching new audiences, but also on humanitarian goals, creating goodwill and strengthening relationships with communities. For example, two of the smaller scale activities were designed especially for children from two orphanages and to support fundraising for the orphanages. Later, orphans and orphanage team members met again with RNSO musicians at a rehearsal and a full symphony concert.

‘Try to bring a smile to a kid around Christmas through a present, a song or a few nice words. Don't forget that all children are the same, no matter if they live at home, close to their families or in an orphanage. They all want to play and be loved. I am happy that for a day, we were able to provide them with this feeling and with the joy of playing along in a musical setting.’
Andrei Marcovici, percussionist and project leader