Breaking news: 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 (Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, etc.).
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.
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.