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Amsterdam takes Netherlands Symphony Orchestra to court

We already wrote extensively about the name change of the Orchestra of the East in the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (NSO). The curious opera grant application based on a business plan that carries huge risks had our full attention. Regular partner the National Travel Opera was not amused.

first reading of lost O'Neill piece

Connoisseurs know: often actors spend two months rehearsing a play with only one goal in mind: to recover the freshness and surprise of the 'first reading'. After all, at that first reading, actors hear the text for the first time from their colleagues, read the words aloud for the first time, and everything sounds new and unexpected.... 

Culture Council given little leeway

He barely showed his face in recent months, rarely engaging in debate with artists or the public. Now that the mega budget cut on culture is law, and nothing can be changed about it until 2016, we can follow Halbe Zijlstra's victory lap again. Also on twitter.

Porn, movement and politics seek each other at festival Something Raw

For over a decade, Something Raw has been one of the few places in the Netherlands where the question of artistic and social urgency of the body is explored on stage, with all the fun and risk involved. Many performances struggled with the 'impasse of display': have people then become mere things to look at? Porn is the... 

5-hour marathon Roman Tragedies favourite with spectators Toneelgroep Amsterdam

We were somewhat mildly ironic about it, but hats off, meanwhile, to Toneelgroep Amsterdam's PR department and the audience, who responded remarkably well to the 'choose the reprise' campaign the company launched a few weeks back. We have the hard numbers we feared we would never see. And they are credible. We quote the press release: From 2 to... 

'Ajax states' in sudden war between Netherlands Symphony Orchestra and National Travel Opera

This week, the National Travel Opera begins rehearsals of Mozart's Le nozze di figaro. In the bin, the brand-new Netherlands Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend. Business as usual, as both companies have been working closely together for years and are united in the National Music Quarter Enschede. Only: orchestra and opera company have not been talking to each other since last week.

Fact-free journalism plunges into arts sector.

    According to the Volkskrant, Rick van der Ploeg was state secretary of culture in the early 1990s (in reality, he was at the end of those years), and in Het Parool columnist Gerard Mulder claims that the fact that he "thankfully knows nothing about art subsidies" need not deter him from some wild speculations... 

Top or flop: audience picks repertoire first theatre company in the Netherlands

We got another press release, and wondered: top or flop? How does idiosyncratic artistry rhyme with audience-determined repertoire choice? Andne: do all those people who chose the winning piece also get a free-or at least discounted-ticket to the performance of their choice? Andne: who checks the results, as there is no notary. Enne:. 

Henk Pröpper: 'Writers Unlimited has always opposed panting and short-term ambition.'

He is now a publisher, and the man who was director of the Dutch Foundation for Literature until last year will be quite happy with that. As director of the Bezige Bij, one of the country's largest publishing houses, he will surely never again have to submissively toast the sarcastic State Secretary for Culture Halbe Zijlstra. At least the relief was audible in Pröpper's... 

Miraculous play on age-old techniques mirrors Stravinky's music in 50,000 litres of water and 50 minutes

Thai and Vietnamese puppetry. Acrobats, Chinese shadow play and Japanese costumes. A Chinese conductor for a Dutch orchestra, a Canadian directing team and, as the main work, a scant 50-minute opera by a Russian composer, based on a fairy tale by a Danish writer who took his inspiration from China. Loosely.

Thunder or a minor storm in the Gouda Glasses? You may say

We received a letter on legs from Wim de Groot a while ago. Now we often get letters in paws, but here something seemed to be going on. Trouble of course because sorting it out takes time and money and that wasn't there for a while. (Look out for the donor campaign we are about to launch) But still. What's wrong with it? Wim de... 

Theatre photography in the limelight at small Amsterdam gallery

Theatre photographs are a profession in their own right. From an already staged subject, the professional photographer chooses the catchiest image. There are those who look down on them for that reason, there are those who admire the theatre photographer for that very reason. We are naturally more inclined towards the latter. But the profession is under pressure. From smartphones, from buyers who have no space and no money... 

Austerity year review 2011. Or how the PVV cry 'Arts subsidies we abolish' was widely heard

While 2010 was still the year of PVV positions on culture that were suddenly shared by other parties ("we are abolishing art subsidies"), the year 2011 fell under their implementation. What was striking was the ease with which regional and local administrators also wielded this same machete, as PVV spokesperson Bosma did not fail to testify. For instance, in the municipality of Almelo, 30 % went àff from... 

Europe wants to invest in culture. If it is allowed by the Netherlands.

It was Europe Day in cultural Amsterdam on Monday 12 December. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science officially opened the application procedure for cities wishing to become Europe's cultural capital in 2018. And the European commission presented and plan of 1.8 billion for culture. We reported via Twitter. And collected the results on 'storify'. View the story "Europe wants to invest in culture.... 

"The city's leading free spirits have discovered and embraced classical music, but on their own terms"

An alternative scene for classical events outside the ice palaces of classical music is growing. Last month, you could 'classical clubbing' at the Yellow Lounge at the Westergasfabriek venue. The club was sold out, indeed with a large

News from the national culture front

Positive news to start with: in The Hague, the municipality is doubling photographer/filmmaker Anton Corbijn's contribution to his youth culture fund Haagse Bluf by €75,000. Corbijn explicitly told the fund not to interfere in the subsidised cultural sector. So compensation for the cuts need not be expected. In Arnhem, the alderman is satisfied with the... 

Enterprising young theatre makers, Meermanno meets revenue standard, Eindhoven accepts collection, Amsterdam supports cultural education, et al.

Entrepreneurship is in young theatre-makers' blood (...) A new theatre circuit seems to have emerged in recent years. More and more young groups, such as Stichting Nieuwe Helden, PSTheater and Circus Treurdier, work relatively independently of subsidies and almost always outside the theatre building. They seek out their audiences anywhere, whether on the street, by a canal or in a... 

Benefit Giving Act, cultural budgets, Brabant, Amsterdam, Arnhem, Eindhoven, Goes, Utrecht et al.

Tax benefits to be gained this year (...) With effect from 2012, under the new Giving Act, there is an additional tax facility for donations (incidental or via periodic donations) to charitable institutions (non-profit organisations) designated as cultural institutions. Those cultural donations may be multiplied by a factor of 125 per cent for the gift deduction. This... 

A'dam: big loss of art subsidies, fact-free politics at art colleges, sacred museum collections, N-H halts small cultural education, culture in abandoned railway station

'Amsterdam loses 127 million arts subsidy' (...) The 127.1 million euros is a sum of cuts from the state (70 million), the increase in VAT to 19% (45.6 million) and the announced municipal cuts to the 2013-2016 Arts Plan of 8 million annually. In addition, the so-called ID jobs (subsidised jobs) are being phased out more quickly. This will give Amsterdam's arts and cultural institutions another... 

Museums, Boxmeer theatre, IKON, ANP, regional broadcasters, impoverished library

MuseumgoudA not expelled MuseumgoudA may still remain a member of the Dutch Museum Association (NMV). A majority of the members were still of the opinion in September that the museum should be expelled because it had auctioned Marlene Dumas' The Schoolboys at the end of June without consulting other museums. That is against the NMV's rules. It did, however, decide to change the rules for the... 

Friday the 25th. Bergen puts extra money into art, while new disasters emerge for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Amsterdam - Mayor finds cuts to Rijksakademie "beyond comprehension" During the official opening of RijksakademieOPEN 2011, Mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan expressed his concerns about the government's severe cuts to the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten. "Cutbacks are necessary. Capitulating is not necessary. There are limits." The mayor stressed that a healthy art climate is important for... 

Culture day: not a penny for Oriëntalis, no brake on Amsterdam cutbacks and Vlissinger library unsaleable

State secretary does not give museum park Orientalis a cent (...) Interim director Peter Berns had asked Zijlstra, state secretary for Education, Culture and Science, for a one-off subsidy of six million euros. The province of Gelderland is willing to make a one-off contribution, if necessary, but only if the government also comes over the bridge. So that is not the case now, confirms a disappointed Berns. Source:... 

Daily news: Sale in Rotterdam, protests in Amsterdam and an arts centre closes in the south

Culture sector signs agreement on youth pass Eight umbrella organisations in the culture sector signed a covenant on Wednesday advocating the continued existence, albeit in modified form, of the Culture Card. It should remain free, but will henceforth only give discounts on cultural outings. The 15-euro credit will disappear because the state will no longer provide subsidies. Instead, students in the... 

Fransche School in jeopardy, blind library closed, nibbling on VAT measure via CJP and Volkenkunde/Tropen Institute merger possible

Arnhem - Scepticism over success of cultural heart Rijnboog Arnhem city council has many doubts about the financial feasibility of the Rijnboog arts cluster. (...) [Alderman] assumes 16 million subsidy from the province and another 4 million in contributions from sponsors for the new arts centre containing the Museum of Modern Art Arnhem, the Schouwburg and Focus Filmtheater.... 

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