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The @Hollandfestival Proms are many, bold and full. Every now and then, that's quite nice

That George Benjamin is this year's Holland Festival court composer makes perfect sense. And I say that as a non-expert. After all: the way contemporary classical music is often written and talked about scares laymen like me. Would I ever have enough knowledge to appreciate those gourmet sounds? On Saturday night, I made my first live acquaintance... 

Bach and Moore, a sublime combination

Johann Sebastian Bach and Kate Moore in one concert programme. With this choice for the fifth episode of her 'Cello 020' series, cellist Lidy Blijdorp once again outdoes herself in originality. And the effect of this choice is phenomenal. Enhanced interaction Not only does she bring together works by two completely different composers, she further enhances the interaction by playing their... 

Hewar and Gurdjieff Ensemble @Hollandfestival: music unites two troubled peoples

After the smashing finale of Ishtar by Dima Orsho, the audience stands up as one and erupts in an ovational applause. I am almost stunned by the loud cheers and shouts that overwhelm the members of Hewar and the Gurdjief Ensemble. Bewildered, I look around me: surely there would be another song? But no, there... 

Ruth Mackenzie's latest Holland Festival promises to be just one of the most exciting

Here it is. The one and only interactive Culture Press Holland Festival Special. A special that has already been deployed over the past few months, and will be added to in the coming month. During the festival, we have regular reviews and reports, and podcasts. A new edition of this Special will appear every week. On Mondays. And then you can also subscribe via... 

A tense conversation about anxiety and sex early Sunday morning: The String Quartet's Guide to Sex and Anxiety @HollandFestival

It feels like a variation on a scene from a farce. On stage: Birmingham REP's public relations officer, a journalist flown in from the Netherlands for the premiere and the director's assistant rushed in. Location: an upmarket hotel in the heart of Birmingham. Time: Sunday morning a little after ten o'clock. The subject: sex and the all-encompassing concept of anxiety. Go! The big absentee is director Calixto... 

Everyone is welcome at Pitfest. 'Bands playing at our place should be especially hard, or dirty and grimy.'

The Drenthe village of Erica was rocked on the last weekend of April by the cosy noise festival Pitfest. And that attracted a motley mix of people. I walked around there for a day. A golf cart zooms across the roundabout of the 4-star resort in the outskirts of the Drenthe town of Erica. To the right of the tarmac are tightly mowed golf courses, to the left is a plot of land... 

Money does make happy, and writers' block is an illusion. Many myths busted on Evening of Herding.

Rather listen than read? Listen to the podcast here! (With lots of extra quotes from Ab Dijksterhuis) Money makes horribly happy. And that doesn't stop at 1 tonne. Those who earn half a million are considerably happier than those who earn 2 tonnes. The ING boss who would get 60 per cent more salary would also have become very much happier as a result. This... 

Nuance! VVD The Hague won't cut 50 million from culture budget for 'political abuse' after all

This post has been updated following a response from VVD The Hague. Yesterday I wrote: But so that was misunderstood. Today the VVD called. A transcript of the conversation can be found below: With Frans Schuyt fraction chairman The Hague VVD. I think two things have been mixed up. You have the programme in the budget, Culture and Library, of 102 million,... 

Culture Council wants review of system, but cautious 'Theatre Sector Opinion' is licence for arbitrariness by House of Representatives

Today, the Culture Council comes out with one of the weaker advices in its existence. The Netherlands' highest cultural advisory body showed vision, leadership and boldness earlier this season with the 'Verkenning' and the 'Sectoradvies Muziek'. The exploration called for a reversal of subsidy flows, with urban regions taking the initiative. In the advice for the music sector, it broke... 

Publicity image Gesualdo. Photo: Sofie Knijff

At the Holland Festival, Mackenzie is opening the doors to a new avant-garde among the audience.

The neat couple next to me, in the front row at the Holland Festival press conference, hadn't counted on it for a moment. Four members of the Nederlands Kamerkoor starting to undress one by one down to their pecker-sized nakie. A giggle, a small cough, but hey, this is the Holland Festival, they said to each other. So too... 

Jens van Daele: 'The power of women is greater than that of men'

'I admire the strength of women. I experience it as greater than that of men. Women's strength lies in the dedication with which they can deal with things. The courage to push boundaries.' Jens van Daele, in his latest theatre show 'Nighthexen 1: Jeanne', pays tribute to the strength of women and highlights their heroism from... 

A déjà vu as fresh as an oven bun: The Hague is truffled with artworks by Jan Goeting. But you don't see them until you know

Every city in the Netherlands has artists who enjoy local fame and glory but just beyond the city limits yield only questioning looks. Take the Goeting family of painters from The Hague. They are Jan Goeting (1918-1984), his wife Catharina (1912-1987) and son Joep (1946-1986). The nice thing about this family is: every Hagenaar or Hagenees over 55 knows many works by at least Jan... 

Publicity image BOG. for KID.

'BOG.' plays 'KID.': how a simple question to the audience can lead to exciting theatre.

A collection of makers they are. A collection, but not a collective. What an 'f' can't already make up. So language is quite a thing. And crowdsourcing is quite a thing. These makers collect words from their audience, and give them back in a performance. That's 'BOG.', a still fairly young group trying to use language to make theatre to get us to... 

Also for Supervisory Board: many ancillary positions not necessarily an advantage

The commotion about Beatrix Ruf's side job, or rather just second job, touches on a number of important core values for the proper functioning of society in general and the cultural sector in particular. Firstly, that cooperation is based on trust. The Supervisory Board was justified in assuming that Ruf would not run a consultancy company alongside her... 

Chablis, riesling, bardolino and five indies: Boulevard succeeded

Wine tasting and listening to medieval music are usually things people only do with very serious faces. So it took five glasses, three drunken singers and a good hour before the mob in the sober Heilig Hart church in Den Bosch loosened up a bit. With a Frontignan to boot. You do start fantasising about the amazing dinner you had at... 

This is guaranteed to make you happy. How artist collective toyism has continued to surprise for 25 years

They have been around for 25 years but are buzzing as if they were founded yesterday. With the creation of a work of art at Eelde airport - to be followed live from today - as well as exhibitions at 25 locations in and around Groningen, the artists of the international artists' collective toyism are celebrating their anniversary. Self-willed, original and committed are perhaps the most important characteristics of this international collective.... 

The Tempest Society: Too bad Jesse Klaver wasn't in the audience #HF17

Struggle is by far the word that falls the most in the video triptych 'The Tempest Society'. The struggle for a dignified existence, the struggle for papers, the struggle with a system that does not want to give you rights. Refugees struggle with these issues day in and day out, year in and year out. In this video triptych, Moroccan-French director Bouchra Khalili (Casablanca,... 

'The Green Hand was a super-secret club'. Susan van 't Hullenaar on her children's book series

Later, when I grow up... Lawyer Susan van 't Hullenaar (1970) always dreamed of becoming a writer. As her 12.5-year work anniversary approached, she realised: I have to take the plunge now, otherwise it won't happen. She quit her job, became her own boss as a copywriter and picked up her pen - well, the computer. 'I gave... 

'We were still going to read The Green Hand!' How an 8-year-old suddenly cured of gaming

A Quattro Mani's pop-up reviewer Afke Bohle took up the challenge of reading a book with her eldest son. After the first volume in Susan van 't Hullenaar's De Groene Hand series, the second soon followed. And what was her surprise: now the wait for part three is actually taking too long... My youngest son loves books, but... 

Jeroen van Merwijk behind the window of Kunstruimte Kuub in Utrecht. Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Why Jeroen van Merwijk likes to welcome you to his studio: 'Being a cabaret artist is not a profession.'

'Everyone has an Apple. Everyone has a Corneille. Nobody has a Van Merwijk. So the question is whether Van Merwijk is any good. Nobody knows that. Then the challenge is for a few great people to buy a Van Merwijk. After that, everyone wants to have a Van Merwijk. When that happens, I'll go back to making other work, because I want... 

Saint Genet in #HF17: Be afraid of Americans. Very afraid. But go watch.

You have punk. You have performance art. Best Gaap, because often little remains of that ferocious wildness that dominated the European scene in the 1960s and 1970s. Marina Abramovic we now see mainly as that silent lady on that chair opposite her long-lost lover. We have forgotten that she once offered her audience razors to cut her... 

Culture Press needs real members. Here's why you want to join

Culture Press is an indispensable addition to the cultural news in your newspaper, on the internet or on TV. Independent, quirky, rebellious and above all: useful. After all, there is already enough nonsense about art. You'll understand that we don't serve the millions of readers that the big publishers and their advertisers exist on. Which is why everyone else does so little about art.... 

Dramatic increase in volunteering in theatres and concert halls.

One of the highlights of the year is always the presentation of 'the figures' by the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors (VSCD). As it happens, these are unabatedly positive. For years. And so for years it has been a challenge to find out why those positive figures are so difficult to reconcile with the picture of reality. That not at all... 

Premiere Double Play: how do you incorporate class struggle into a sizzling game of dominoes?

In the 1980s, when I played teacher in Curaçao for a few years, a shiver of admiration and trepidation swept through the island's intellectual upper crust. Double Play appeared, the now classic Curaçao novel by Frank Martinus Arion. It was a hit. Gerrit Komrij loved the novel. [bol_product_links block_id="bol_5924039b33ad6_selected-products" products="9200000057138048,9200000005225011″ name="harri" sub_id="arion" link_color="003399″ subtitle_color="000000″ pricetype_color="000000″ price_color="CC3300″ deliverytime_color="009900″... 

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