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.


Episode 13

Episode 13: COE@40 special series – “A life-changing learning experience”

In this 4th episode of our COE@40 series, Simon Mundy interviews various current and former members of the COE about the influence the Orchestra and its artistic partners over the years have had on their career and their way of making music.

Simon Mundy talks to Clara Andrada, Lorenza Borrani, Will Conway, Richard Hosford, Richard Lester, Jaime Martin and Elizabeth Wexler about their life-changing learning experience within the COE and who has had the most influence on their music-making, whether it be conductors and soloists with whom the Orchestra worked over the years or their COE colleagues themselves.


Episode 14

Episode 14: Making of the Sibelius Symphonies (COE/Berglund, 1998) with Dougie Boyd

In this episode, Simon Mundy interviews the COE’s former principal oboe, now conductor, Dougie Boyd, who was the instigator of the Sibelius Symphony Cycle with Paavo Berglund at the Helsinki Festival in 1998. Dougie shares the story of how it all started, looks back at the special relationship between the Orchestra and Paavo and goes through the Symphonies themselves and the progression from No.1 to No.7. The DVD/Blu-Ray set was released for the 10th anniversary of Paavo Berglund’s death, in memory of the incredible friendship that existed between him and all of the COE musicians. “Paavo was universally loved” (Dougie Boyd).


Episode 15

Episode 15: COE@40 special series – The COE in the eyes of its artistic partners

In the 5th episode of our series celebrating 40 years of COE, Simon Mundy asks world-class artists who regularly work with the COE – conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin (Honorary Member of the COE), Robin Ticciati, Sir Antonio Pappano and violinist Janine Jansen – about their own experience with the Orchestra.


Episode 16

Episode 16: Interview with Sir Roger Norrington

In this episode, Simon Mundy interviews British conductor Sir Roger Norrington about his COE adventure. Now retired, Sir Roger looks back at some of his most cherished memories with the COE: concerts at Die Glocke in Bremen, performances of the Creation and the Seasons… He also talks about period performances on modern instruments, revising the orchestra seating and the importance of connecting with the audience during concerts.


Episode 17

Episode 17: Interview with French oboist François Leleux

In this episode, presenter Simon Mundy is in conversation with the COE’s former principal oboe François Leleux. They talk about his COE adventure and find out about his approach to conducting whilst still pursuing a career as a world-renowned oboist. François  recalls his COE story with much enthusiasm: how he got to know the Orchestra, when became a member, what his influence on the COE was and how the COE influenced him. For more information about François, please visit his website:


Episode 18

Episode 18: Interview with COE Planning and Personnel Manager Caroline Ferry

In this episode, Simon Mundy talks with the COE’s Planning and Personnel Manager Caroline Ferry who has been with us for 5 years and is about to leave and explore new pastures. You will find out all about how absolutely crucial this job is, the challenges of fixing and planning for an international touring orchestra, particularly in the context of the aftermath of a global pandemic. Caroline shares her memories of the past 5 years at the COE, what particular challenges she encountered, which programmes she fondly remembers, which soloists wowed her…


Episode 19

Episode 19: Interview with COE Honorary Member Sir András Schiff

In this episode, Simon Mundy is in conversation with Sir András Schiff, a long-standing artistic partner and Honorary Member of the COE. Together, they recall how the relationship with the Orchestra started, back in the eighties, and how it developed over the years. Sir András remembers with great fondness his friendship with Sandor Vegh who also taught to a number of COE members at the time. In this episode, there are various musical excerpts, particularly from our concert at the Schloss Esterhazy – home of Haydn and where the COE currently has a residency – in Eisenstadt in September 2022.


Episode 20

Episode 20: Interview with Julian Rachlin, Violinist, Conductor and Artistic Director of the Herbstgold Festival in Eisenstadt

In this episode, Simon Mundy talks to Julian Rachlin who has invited the Chamber Orchestra of Europe to become the resident orchestra at the Schloss Esterhazy, Haydn’s home, in Eisenstadt. Artistic Director of the Herbstgold Festival in Eisenstadt, Julian is also principal conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in Israel.

Julian Rachlin explains what it means to him that the Chamber Orchestra of Europe is the resident orchestra at Schloss Esterhazy, how he feels about the COE and what he would like to do with them next.


Episode 21

Episode 21: Interview with Julian Poore, COE’s second trumpet and founder member

In this episode, Simon Mundy talks with Julian Poore who has been the COE’s second trumpet since its creation in 1981. Aside from telling us all about the many different types of trumpets and the challenges of bringing them on tour, he also tells us a story about Claudio Abbado’s shirt… featuring COE co-principal cello, tenor Will Conway!


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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