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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... 

New music loses advocate Ton Hartsuiker

Monday 18 May 2015 he will be cremated in Utrecht: Ton Hartsuiker, tireless champion of new music in our country. In recent years, his health was ailing; he would narrowly miss his 82nd birthday. He was active as pianist, music educator, conservatory director, administrator and radio presenter. Even after his retirement in 1998, he did not consider quitting his... 

Good news from Enschede: magical Orphée et Eurydice by Reisopera

After all the misery surrounding HET Symfonieorkest, the premiere of Orphée et Eurydice last night (1 May) at the Wilminktheatre was a breath of fresh air. Defying all worries, the Nederlandse Reisopera realised a shimmering performance, which was rightly rewarded with a minute-long ovation. With magical colour fields, slow-motion movements and mysterious shadow play, director Floris Visser brought the timeless love drama to life. A must-see for... 

Enschede plays library and museum against each other

Everything comes together in Enschede. Revenue models that appear to be based on air, but are defended to the hilt by administrators. Jubilant reports on rising museum visits, but smaller museums are going under. Aldermen acting out of cultural interests, but then playing residents against each other to make draconian decisions. All this to disguise the ruins of Rutte I. A quick recap:... 

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... 

agenda culture Council for Culture

Culture Council sounds alarm: 29.5 million needed to preserve arts sector

What is already going on on a small scale in Groningen, Enschede, Zaltbommel, Amersfoort, Gorinchem and Vlaardingen, is threatening to happen nationwide as well: cultural institutions falling over while politicians look on helplessly. According to the Council for Culture, the situation is alarming: 'Institutions are draining their own funds, cultural funds are maintaining schemes by drawing on reserves. We therefore make the urgent... 

Supervisory failure at HET Symphony Orchestra: drama that could have been avoided

The money at HET Symphony Orchestra has run out. Despite all the extra millions from the province and after years of writing off tons of general reserves, the end is in sight. And so the orchestra is scrapping concerts, will be seen less in theatres in Deventer and Zwolle, stops CD recordings and shuns any risky performances. To keep the... 

Reisopera's Pearl Fishermen: sober but effective

Even before the Noord Nederlands Orkest's final chord has fully sounded out, the audience in a well-filled Theater Carré stands up as one to cheer on the cast of Bizet's Parelvissers. We are writing 24 February 2015 and this is one of the last performances of this austere but effective production by the Nationale Reisopera. Tonight, this... 

Amersfoort cultural policy filleted: 'Once started, there's no turning back'

In Amersfoort, one art hall is empty and one art hall is full. KAdE, only recently completed and already successful, was dismantled five years after opening and moved to another, even newer building, across the railway line. However, the city council does not appear to have been properly informed about the financial consequences of this move and is now stuck with and noose of at least 10... 

The five shows you must see in February

#1 Salzburger Festspiele / Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz / Katie Mitchell, The forbidden zone (theatre/performance) - Dutch premiere 11 February, Stadsschouwburg AmsterdamThe British director Katie Mitchell is this month's 'arsonist' at Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg. With performances that are as scintillating as they are transgressive. The forbidden zone is about areas long off-limits to women: wete... You can log in now to continue... 

Municipal politics remain powerless over cultural policy content, this time in Enschede

Municipal cultural politics are often about 'bricks and mortar'. People put up a cultural building and then pray/hope that great things will happen there, which the city council in turn has no money for/power over. Take Enschede. In a council meeting in which it was decided to reinvest in cultural bricks by means of a €475,000 loan, there was actually some unrest. No, not about those bricks, but about... 

Bicycle shed gives way to redundant office of The Symphony Orchestra

650,000 euros. The municipality of Enschede is prepared to lend that amount to HET Symfonieorkest. Not for a special cultural project in the city, no, for a renovation. Not surprising, as municipalities, after all, prefer to invest in bricks and mortar rather than culture. But in this case, we are talking about very special bricks. According to director Harm Mannak, the barely used bicycle shed needs to be converted into a... 

Copyright: Erik Bindervoet

The five theatrical performances you want to see in January 2015, and you already have to head back to the province

After the annual lists, the recommendations for the new year. All dailies participate in it. Problem: much is not yet known. Festivals and companies present their programmes sometime in February, March. So we cannot yet give the tips for the whole of 2015. But we do have the tips for the coming month, in chronological order, because ranking performances we still have to... 

Should Halbe Zijlstra apologise only to Overijssel?

Ten per cent fewer performances and ten per cent fewer visitors in Overijssel headlines RTV Oost. Bam! That chops it. Into the bin, that jubilant press release by Jet Bussemaker. And if there is one province that does not need to apologise to Halbe Zijlstra, it is Overijssel. Well, we reported earlier that apologies are not necessary anyway, but as a province... 

Maas Theatre and Dance's Greeks: compelling and bewildering for young and old alike

First story. A naked king crawls at the feet of a woman. She is much taller than him, a goddess. High above him, she holds a bunch of grapes in her hand. Hungry he is! He wants those grapes, all of them. His body is vulnerable. It seems to shiver in the open air. But when it comes to the coveted food, he fetches... 

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (5) "All balls on Amsterdam", I'm not into that at all.

Wijbrand Schaap: 'Now on the role of cities. One of the reactions on our site is about the role of the randstad in cultural policy. Melle Daamen puts the primacy in the randstad, and goes further than the Council in this.' Marathon interviewAfter the uproar surrounding Melle Daamen's opinion piece on arts policy, we were invited to a 'conversation about... 

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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Increasing pressure on art talent: 22 new creators to keep a close eye on.

For the past few weeks, academies across the country have been celebrating: a new batch of visual artists graduated and showed themselves to the world. Besides parents, grandparents and a few friends, a lot of art professionals descend on such a graduation presentation. Scouts, in the form of other artists, press, curators, collectors and gallery owners. All these people especially hope not to miss out on the new discovery and therefore try to be there as early as possible. In some cases, they...

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From packaging for fish to opera: JacobTV's The News

The News: today it's hot, tomorrow the fish will be wrapped in it. In his video opera The News, Jacob ter Veldhuis/JacobTV gives it a second life by placing it in a new context. 'Nowadays, news is infotainment, dipped in sentiment.' Next Friday, the Nederlandse Reisopera will premiere it at the Wilminkteather in Enschede. Although premiere? This is the fifth version of the 'reality opera', which was first performed in 2011 and then in various guises Amer...

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Timeless staging of St John Passion grips at throat

The main character of Bach's St John Passion? Jesus, of course. Wrong. It is the narrator, the evangelist, especially in Dale Duesing's wonderful staging, especially when interpreted by Robert Burt. Where in ordinary performances of the Johannes the evangelist's recitatives mainly interrupt the arias and choral passages, here they form the dramatic core. We truly see John's passion.

Director sues own orchestra to death

It was big news. One orchestra is seizing the instruments of another. Only it doesn't add up. Just as much does not appear to be right in conductor Jan Willem de Vriend's letter in last Thursday's Volkskrant.

Because we have been closely following the orchestral feud between the Netherlands Philharmonic and the Netherlands Symphonic for some time, we already knew that De Vriend was not telling the truth with his statement that, legally speaking, it was now 2-2 between the two orchestras. It st...

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Orchestra war escalates: Enschede's star orchestra has to hand in instruments

Seizure of the instruments of the former Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is imminent. The orchestra, which has been banned from using the word "Dutch" since a lost legal battle with Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, is thus not allowed to sell instruments or take them abroad. Pending a countermove from the former Orchestra of the East, they changed the name there to ***** Symphony Orchestra.

Jan Willem De Vriend, conductor of the troubled Enschede-based orchestra, wrote this morning in ...

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