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Incubators we already had, but where was the incubator? Is Art-up Incubator the salvation for cultural Holland?

Fifty years ago, some tomatoes and smoke bombs flew through Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg. This will be commemorated on 4 November at ITA, the former Stadsschouwburg, with a gathering for which, according to the many e-mails I receive, not all tickets have been sold yet. Meanwhile, voluminous essays are appearing in the trade magazine and many are wondering whether there might not be another tomato... 

Still some places available on 9 May 2019 - Workshop: Storytelling in writing

On stories, message and social media Storytelling is the latest buzzword. Every organisation these days has to have a story to tell. Is it a fashionable marketing phrase? Not really. Storytelling is not new. We were always telling each other stories. It's just that we sometimes forget. Thinking that passing dry facts to each other is an effective way to get people moving.... 

Artists, get out into nature, before it's too late (and other reasons for hope)

There are those, including in the arts, who still think the world has not changed for good. Who suspect that a vote for a culture-friendly party will at a stroke turn back the clock eight years. Those people will wake up after 15 March to a new world, even if the Netherlands has suddenly chosen whether or not... 

Culture Council fill-in exercise offers hardly any surprises

Champagne at BAK in Utrecht, deep disappointment at The New Institute in Rotterdam: the Council for Culture has spoken. Today, Thursday 19 May 2016, the first advice after the draconian art cuts by the first Rutte cabinet came out, and heads are rolling. Amsterdam loses prestigious presentation institution De Appel, in The Hague fellow institution Stroom has to redo its homework. The Orkest van het Oosten and the Gelders Orkest have to come up with merger plans within two years....

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De Vriend leaves Orchestra of the East, former chief Van Zweden new boss New York Philharmonic

It is not often that Norman Lebrecht, author of the globally widely read blog Slipped Disc, covers conductors of the Orchestra of the East two days in a row. First on the departure of principal conductor Jan Willem de Vriend, then on the appointment of former principal conductor Jaap van Zweden to the world-famous New York Philharmonic. Naturally, Lebrecht brought both... 

Musicians pay to save their orchestra. TV programme Maestro helps a little.

The Orchestra of the East is cutting its coat of arms, focusing primarily on Overijssel and has applied for collective redundancy. This - and a whole lot more - can be read in the new business plan. It is enough for the province to release a one-off €1.1 million and make 3.5 tonnes of annual subsidy available again from now on. The... 

Orchestra of the East reinstated: HET Symphony Orchestra has 'new' name

From Dutch Symphony Orchestra with international ambitions back to provincial orchestra with as yet nothing at all. Now, except for the ironclad original name. It could be a commercial for Telfort. In between are many lost lawsuits, the grotesque protest name *****Symphony Orchestra and the equally garish HET Symphony Orchestra. It is the ultimate capitulation of the once by just about everything and everyone... 

The disaster surrounding the eastern orchestras only intensifies. A reconstruction

A damning report by organisational consultancy Berenschot, the voluntary or involuntary departure of director Harm Mannak, repeated bickering in the State Assembly and panting reports of high salaries for directors and artistic directors, all the way to the national newspapers. It marks the chaos at HET Symfonieorkest and the lack of any form of direction, not only at the orchestra itself,... 

HET Symphony Orchestra director steps down - just before scathing report on business plan

Failing directors stay put, the Supervisory Board disqualifies itself. No other conclusion is possible after reading the counter-expertise commissioned by the province of Overijssel and carried out by Berenschot. The provincial millions intended to make the orchestra subsidy-independent have not only evaporated, but show a negative balance in every area. Every estimate was too optimistic,... 

HET Symphony Orchestra won't get its 2016 budget done

THE Symphony Orchestra does not have a balanced budget for 2016. Without additional money from the province, it can no longer perform its core task, nor can it fulfil all the commitments it made earlier. That is the gist of the letter CDA deputy commissioner Hester Maij sent to Provincial Council, ahead of its meeting on 7 October. The subject of the letter: "progress business plan/redemption subsidy HET Symfonieorkest".... 

No 'cash shift', no cheese slicer, but the blunt axe in Enschede

Where minister Bussemaker tries to sell the same overall budget as "an extra investment of 18 million" with the new "cash shift" and municipalities like Amsterdam use the old-fashioned cheese slicer to make cuts, the municipality of Enschede uses the blunt axe. Despite fierce opposition and 27,000 signatures from concerned citizens, the city council agreed to an additional annual cut of 600,000 on the library and... 

Provincial millions for HET Symphony Orchestra evaporated without results

What happened to the five million Overijssel gave the orchestra in 2011 to 'get more money from the market'? This was also what councillor Van Abbema wondered, and the answers the province gave her mostly raise more questions. What is abundantly clear is that the province wants to keep the orchestra no matter what and of no merger 

New annual figures show: THE Symphony Orchestra is virtually bankrupt

THE Symphony Orchestra is as good as bankrupt. The 2014 figures show that. So it is total nonsense that responsible minister Jet Bussemaker reported in her answers to questions by MP Jacques Monasch less than a month ago that the orchestra was well within the own income norm of 21.5%. Not only did she already use incorrect figures in her answers, now... 

Arnhem decides: who takes decisive lead in the battle of the orchestras?

Tonight, the Arnhem city council will take an important decision on the renovation of Musis Sacrum, the monumental concert hall located at a prominent point in the city. But the real news is not in what will be decided tonight, but in the far-reaching consequences. Musis Sacrum dates back to 1847 and is part of the cultural heritage. The venue complex is in dire need of refurbishment and with... 

Crisis at The Symphony Orchestra only gets worse thanks to fact-free politics

HET Symfonieorkest's financial problems have not gone unnoticed. Regional newspaper Tubantia reported last Monday that PvdA MP Jacques Monasch had minister Jet Bussemaker (also PvdA) summoned to the Lower House. In that report, Monasch passes with seven-mile boots advice, applications and decisions that have already been made or are yet to come, and immediately reports that a symphony orchestra will continue to be... 

Free money from the bank? Why some get itchy about the Guarantee Fund

Last week, the Metaalkathedraal was celebrating. This 'creative breeding ground' in the picturesque no man's land between Utrecht and Leidsche Rijn can, thanks to a loan from a bank, grow into something that might become great fun for the neighbourhood, but also for people on the other side of town. The Metal Cathedral is an initiative of two artists. They... 

2015 is not left: 5 reasons why art is becoming more exclusive

Art ends its 70th anniversary as a 'Leftist Hobby' in 2015. There is not much more to predict for this year. Art goes back to the bourgeois status it held since the start of the industrial revolution. 1: Art was never left Art, of course, has never been 'left'. Subsidy may have come from the thinking tubes of social and Christian democrats, but art an sich... 

Orchestra finds name: the HET The Symphony Orchestra

Hooray! We have a new name. Nederlands Symfonieorkest was not allowed, *****Orkest everyone thought was a joke and reverting to the perfect name Orkest van het Oosten is not possible, because loss of face. What then?

Drum roll...

Simply, the symphony orchestra. Or THE Symphony Orchestra. The Symphony Orchestra.

Not That Orchestra, which would have been a cool name, not 'that', 'this' or 'the', but it. Just 'an' would have been even more meaningless, but don't despair: it does turn out to stand for something...

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Star. Five times. And then Symphony Orchestra.

Five-star Symphony Orchestra. This is how the Dutch Symphony Orchestra will be called next season. The former Orkest van het Oosten tried to become 'Dutch' but faced a lawsuit from the Philharmonic Orchestra, which was already 'Dutch'. 'Politics should get involved in the legal process. Because it can't go on like this. This is costing tons of money.' Says Harm Mannak.

[Tweet "Director throws symphony orchestra name up for grabs"]

The director of the former Orchestra of the Oo...

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How two orchestras sold an international revenue model as regional

Recap: There are too many orchestras in the Netherlands, the government thinks, and so a few have to go. Or merge. Now that forced merging doesn't seem to go very heartily. But you can make money out of it. In Gelderland and Overijssel, this leads to bizarre scenes. It would have been comical if it hadn't cost so much money.
To bring in an extra five tonnes, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra and the Gelderland Orchestra are pulling together. And with success: the provincial authorities of Overi...

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Orchestras in eastern Netherlands go slating

Nearly thirteen million The Gelderland Orchestra (HGO) asked for the province of Gelderland. It got three-and-a-half. Just enough to absorb the reduction in the state subsidy for the next two years and to work towards a new organisational structure and a new revenue model, as described in a very ambitious business plan, which...... wait a minute. We have already written about this, haven't we?

True. It is like two drops of water to our story about the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, the former Orkes...

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Amsterdam takes Netherlands Symphony Orchestra to court

We already wrote at length about the Orkest van het Oosten's name change to the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (NSO). The curious opera grant application based on a business plan that carries huge risks also had our full attention. Permanent partner the National Travel Opera was not amused.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is also fighting the NSO. In the capital city, they think the Enschede orchestra's new name is very much like its own n...

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'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.

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