COE Podcast

COE Podcast

The COE’s new podcast is live!
Presented by Simon Mundy the first series of episodes focuses on interviews with current and former members of the Orchestra, delving into the Orchestra’s history, its ethos and the special relationships it has built with world-class conductors and soloists over the years. The podcast gives an insight into how the COE works and the intricacies and challenges of touring around the world with players living across the globe, without any base, principal conductor or public funding. Against all odds, the COE is still going strong today and the podcast aims at shedding some light on what makes this Orchestra so unique. The podcast is now available on all main platforms:


Episode 1

Episode 1: An introduction to the COE

In this episode, presenter Simon Mundy explores the history of the COE, what makes it unique, the challenges it faces and plays a few excerpts from our extensive recordings’ catalogue.


Episode 2

Episode 2: Interview with Lorenza Borrani, COE Leader

In this episode, Simon Mundy talks to Lorenza Borrani, who became Leader of the COE in 2008. Together, they discuss what her role at the COE entails and why it is different to leading other orchestras. Lorenza also talks about the ‘life-changing learning experience’ of working with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and tells a touching story about her very own violin.


Episode 3

Episode 3: Part I – Making of the Schubert Symphonies box-set (COE/Harnoncourt)

In the context of the recent release of our recording of the Schubert Symphonies, this is the first of a two-part documentary where Simon Mundy talks with COE players about their unique experience of working on and performing these Symphonies with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Graz, in that extremely hot summer of 1988.


Episode 4

Episode 4: Part II – Making of the Schubert Symphonies box-set (COE/Harnoncourt)

In this episode – the second of a two-part documentary about the making of our Schubert Symphonies with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in the hot summer of 1988, in Graz, Austria – Simon Mundy talks to Enno Senft, Elizabeth Wexler, Thierry Fischer and Christian Eisenberger about the unique experience of working with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.


Episode 5

Episode 5: Interview with the COE’s Principal Flute, Clara Andrada de la Calle

In our first episode of the year, Simon Mundy is in conversation with the COE’s Principal Flute, Clara Andrada de la Calle, who comes from Salamanca in Spain and is also Principal Flute of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Taught by Emmanuel Pahud and Jaime Martin (former COE Principal Flute himself), she heard the COE live for the first in 2002, in a concert with Claudio Abbado in Paris. Clara tells her COE story…


Episode 6

Episode 6: Interview with Nick Eastop (Bass Trombone) and Ulrika Jansson (Violin)

In this interview with husband and wife, Nick Eastop and Ulrika Jansson, Simon Mundy explores one of the COE’s “romantic successes” and quizzes them on many topics including their instruments and which musicians have inspired them most over their COE years.


Episode 7

Episode 7: Interview with Jaime Martin, former COE Principal Flute

In this episode, conductor Jaime Martin – former principal flute of the COE – talks to Simon Mundy about his COE experience: the thrill of being invited to play with the Orchestra for the first time, the conductors and soloists who have taught him the most, how he handed over to Clara Andrada (see episode 5) and why he decided to swap his flute for a baton.


Episode 8

Episode 8: Interview with COE second oboe and cor anglais Rachel Frost

In this episode, Simon Mundy finds about the meeting of two souls, what differentiates the oboe, the cor anglais and the oboe d’amore and what happened to the COE winds in Peru.


Episode 9

Episode 9: COE@40 special series – The COE’s Genesis

In the next three episodes of the COE’s podcast, we celebrate the Orchestra’s 40th anniversary since its launch concert in 1981. In this episode, we look back at the very beginnings of the COE, how the idea came about, the amazing energy and passion from all those who helped found the ensemble and the incredible challenges that they had to navigate. We hear from many of the founder members as well as James Judd, Peter and Victoria Readman, without whom the COE would not be here today.


Episode 10

Episode 10: COE@40 special series – The COE is a family

Simon Mundy interviews a number of current and past members of the COE – including oboist Francois Leleux and conductors Dougie Boyd (and his wife Sally Pendlebury), Jaime Martin and Thierry Fischer – about family life and their relationships within the Orchestra, the incredible commitment and dedication of every single player in rehearsals and concerts and also how the sound of the Orchestra has developed over the years.


Episode 11

Episode 11: COE@40 special series – A truly European entity

This episode focuses on what makes the Chamber Orchestra of Europe a genuinely European ensemble. Simon Mundy talks to Enno Senft and his wife Elizabeth Wexler, Richard Hosford, Richard Lester and Clara Andrada de la Calle about the ‘European-ness’ of the COE and what it entails: a truly European identity but also a lack of roots, making it difficult for the COE to embed itself in a community.


Episode 12

Episode 12: Making of our second COE/Harnoncourt box-set with bassoonist Matthew Wilkie

In this episode, Simon Mundy interviews a COE player who performed in all of the pieces featured in our second COE/Harnoncourt box-set, released by ICA Classics on 22/10/2021. The box-set covers an extensive period of time, from 1989 to 2007. Matthew Wilkie takes us through the evolution of the COE sound under Nikolaus Harnoncourt over the years. He talks about the immense challenges of playing the extreme dynamics always requested by Harnoncourt, and also the legendary metaphors he used to get his point across. Matthew also mentions which composers he particularly enjoyed working on with Nikolaus and why.


Simon Mundy

Simon Mundy is a cultural policy adviser, poet, novelist, biographer, festival and organisation director, and broadcaster.
In the 1970s he read Drama at Manchester University and trained to be an opera director at Glyndebourne. From 1978 until 1990 he worked as an arts journalist, a profession to which he returned in 2018. From 1993 to 1996 he directed festivals in Scotland (Northlands), and Utrecht (Early Music). Since 1996 he has been an adviser for UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the UN Mission in Kosovo as well as many non governmental organisations like the Ford Foundation, the European Cultural Foundation and the International Music Council. From 2002 he was adviser to Wales’ then Culture Minister, Jenny Randerson, for four years. He has given workshops on policy, management and conflict alleviation as far afield as Kiev, Nairobi, Trinidad, Istanbul and Ulan Baataar.
In the 1990s he was the Director of the UK’s National Campaign for the Arts and a co-founder and first President of the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage (now Culture Action Europe). He has also been Chair of Bloc (Creative Technology Wales) and Wales European Arts Forum. He is Vice President of the Presteigne Festival, and was for many years a Trustee of the European Union Baroque Orchestra. He has broadcast on BBC Radio for over 40 years and written on the arts for most of Britain’s major newspapers.
From 2003 to 2014 he was Senior Associate Fellow in the International Policy Institute (and later the Conflict, Security and Development Group and African Leadership Centre) at King’s College London. He is active in many cultural networks, including PEN International (he is Vice President of the Writers for Peace Committee), A Soul for Europe, Culture Action Europe and the European House for Culture. He is a Permanent Fellow of the Felix Meritis Foundation, Amsterdam.
He is Europe Correspondent of Classical Music Magazine in London and also writes for International Piano, Opera Now and BBC Music magazines, and the Present Arts Review website. He is Adviser to the European Festivals Association and the Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe project.
Four books of his poems (most recently More for Helen Of Troy , published by Seren) and four novels have been published, and among his other books are Making It Home: Europe and the Politics of Culture, and the Council of Europe’s Short Guide to Cultural Policy. He has written several books on musicians (including biographies of Bernard Haitink and composers Elgar, Purcell, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky) and of the painter Sidney Nolan.
Current projects include a libretto for composer Roxana Panufnik and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, a new volume of his Flagey stories set in Brussels and the European Parliament. He now lives in Caithness, in the far north of Scotland.

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