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Sigur Ros - © Hörður Óttarsson

Sigur Rós overwhelms Concertgebouw with multi-layered magic music - HF23

The picture is immediate. Vast glaciated vistas, patches of fog and the twilight of a land where the sun rises only once a year. Something like that. And then that soaring music that in one long tone makes all air traffic redundant for at least a month. Beneath it the rumble of shifting earth plates. For the first time in 10 years, Sigur Rós made another... 


Arts '92: 'Give the public access to museums immediately.'

Arts '92 means business. The umbrella of all umbrella organisations in the arts sector, which kept on poldering when everyone had long since gone into business for themselves, is angry. And rightly so. Enough has happened this week to break down the last shred of trust between the art world and the government. To the point where there was even note-busting over whether the opening up of sex work and... 

Writers writing. That's what Moped at Sea is about, and that's ok. 

Many avid readers will dream of their favourite author sitting at their table one day, talking about her work. Perhaps just as many avid readers will take their dream author on a stroll, want to drink lamb on a café terrace or take them to a darkroom. Or to a classical concert at the Concertgebouw. All can be done. Some will even just... 

1 January 2021 - NBE New Year's Concert at The Concertgebouw: unlike anything else

The Dutch Wind Ensemble's (NBE) traditional New Year's concert at The Concertgebouw on Friday 1 January 2021 is going to look completely different from all previous editions. Because it is currently unclear whether, or how many, visitors The Concertgebouw is allowed to admit because of RIVM measures, the difficult decision has been taken to play the New Year's concert entirely without an audience.

'We're done with Zoomen for now'. Holland Festival looks back on 2020 edition with mixed feelings (with sound)

The three of them are back together in the office for the first time since the lockdown on 13 March. The interview, in which director Emily Ansenk, music programmer Jochem Valkenburg and theatre programmer Annemieke Keurentjes take stock of the first - and hopefully only - online edition of the country's most prestigious performing arts festival, takes place a day after the lockdown. There was no... 

One-half meter art is an economic disaster. But it is also a godsend. Turn it into a lottery.

As a professional art visitor, I rarely find myself in empty halls. Premieres are always full, so are press viewings and vernissages. Full is of course really cool. Although those full rooms I am in then usually cost more money than they bring in, because the tickets are free and the drinks on the house. Outside the premiere, but especially outside the premiere city, the... 

Mattijs van der Woerd hopes to sing again one day, but is especially happy that Splendor is making music again

Musicians' society Splendor has survived the corona crisis so far, despite the fact that the two halls could not be used, rehearsal rooms fell and the bar could not open. Mattijs van der Woerd, baritone, talks about it in our podcast/video. How can that be, such a small concert hall standing so strong? The secret, which also keeps Culture Press afloat, and which this month also... 

'A lot of people are waiting for the moment when they can sing together again. Make sure that by the time Corona is over, they still have that opportunity.'

Maybe I am not looking closely but I miss in the various media, as I did years ago during the demolition policy, the role of amateur music practice on which many a musician depends. At the moment, the focus is partly on venues and theatres asking their visitors to accept vouchers or donate their tickets. Fine... 

Why I hope to meet those youngsters from that particular reading club here: Olga Neuwirth composes soundtrack to Die Stadt ohne Juden

Emerging fascism is becoming increasingly parlous. Especially among young people, I discovered recently at a concert by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw. A reading club of twenty-somethings said they enjoyed James MacMillan's Second Percussion Concerto. They joined me in denouncing the draconian cuts to culture. But suddenly it sounded carefree: 'We are all voting for Thierry.' When I was dismayed... 

Conductor Elim Chan: 'I can't walk away from the music.'

'When I unexpectedly had to conduct the "Dies Irae" from Verdi's Requiem Verdi, I felt how raw and impactful music could be. I knew immediately: I can no longer run away from music.' Elim Chan is moving like a rocket and will make her debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra on 17 January. In 2014, Elim Chan (Hong Kong, 1986) was the first female... 

Kersjes Prize winner Lodewijk van der Ree: 'Language strongly determines the sound of a choir'

'An inspired conductor, with an intelligent approach to the score, a clear stroke and the ability to draw a choir into his vision. So says the jury of the Kersjes Prize about Lodewijk van der Ree (1986), who received this year's conducting prize. I have worked with him many times before and can wholeheartedly endorse this statement. Carte... 

'I decided to make an unabashedly grand romantic gesture and blow people away' - Mathilde Wantenaar writes new piece for Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Being creative on demand? That's impossible, you would think. Yet it is the reality for composers and artists who work on commission. Mathilde Wantenaar (1993) therefore got acute choice stress when the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra asked her for a new piece. She was just working on a commission from De Nationale Opera. 'I felt like a rabbit in the... 

'Quite a few ex-believers have thrown out the baby with the bathwater: the music, the rituals, the language.' Composer Daan Manneke turns 80.

Daan Manneke will soon turn eighty. On 5 October, this great purveyor of vocal music and 'chapel master of space' will take centre stage during a programme by the Groot Omroepkoor in Utrecht's Jacobi Church. For this programme, he composed the brand new Geistliche Dämmerung, commissioned by the AVROTROSVrijdagconcert. Even at eighty, Manneke is still all zest for life and energy. 'I continue to... 

Clara Schumann in 1878

Clara Schumann: still in Robert's shadow even after 200 years

Exactly 200 years ago, on 13 September 1819, Clara Schumann was born in Leipzig as Clara Wieck. She is among one of the greatest pianists of the nineteenth century. Against her father's wishes, she married Robert Schumann, whose work she fervently promoted. She also wrote well-received compositions of her own and was more famous than Robert. Yet after her... 

At Leiden University, the end of patriarchy is shining. 

This weekend, there was some fuss on Twitter. Something about a Nazi comparison that didn't quite work out. Now there is quite often a fuss on Twitter because of a Nazi comparison that doesn't quite work out, but this time it concerned one of our cultural figureheads. Kees Vlaardingerbroek, artistic director of the NTR Saturday matinee and former head of programming at the Rotterdam... 

Colin Benders plays Concertgebouw flat on closing night of memorable Holland Festival 2019

Stereo is primitive. Cinema operators have known that for a while, and so has anyone with a 7:1 set to go with their TV. Two speakers, no matter how good and big or small, remain two speakers. Now, of course, we also only have two ears, but they can place 360-degree sound thanks to some clever ribbing and our own smart brains. So sound should be... 

New arts plan cabinet-Rutte III: 25 million less arts supply. (But more happy artists)

How harrowing the payment of artists, musicians and theatre actors, screenwriters and all those other 'creators' is, became clear again in recent weeks. In newspaper Trouw, a musician - finally - came out of the closet of poor working conditions. Against the prevailing mores, she revealed how much she earned. What transpired: top national institutions like the Concertgebouw allow musicians to perform for free, orchestral musicians... 

She is a woman and a composer - so what?

Recently, Kees Vlaardingerbroek, programmer of the NTRZaterdagMatinee published a plea against what he calls 'identity politics' in music. 'Bach was not a woman and not Western. So what?" reads the headline. In the subtitle, we read: 'If a composer is not a woman or Western, then it no longer fits into the classical canon.' Quite boldly put, because in any concert brochure you will find... 

Forty times a year to TivoliVredenburg: 'You get everywhere if you love music, eh.'

Peter Vossen says he experiences live concerts on average twice a week. Not just in TivoliVredenburg, although he visited there almost 40 times last year. 'I also see a lot of free concerts on the streets and in cafés, of course.' Jazz is his great love, but he also attends soul, funk, Latin or pop concerts. Regularly, he can be found 

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