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Ed Spanjaard is the ideal new leader of the Orchestra of the East

After it was announced in January this year that Jan Willem de Vriend was leaving at the end of the 2016/2017 season, the Orchestra of the East announced that it was in no hurry to find a successor. One would start working with "renowned guest conductors". Just over six months later, a few months before the departure of interim director Bart van Meijl, a successor was still presented. That this successor, Ed Spanjaard, is given the title of 'permanent conductor' seems mainly a semantic issue.

Nederlandse Reisopera, Orkest van het Oosten, Consensus Vocalis ánd 600 sing-alongs give lessons in the capital: connecting is how you do it!

Tight and razor-sharp? No. But that's not what this afternoon is about at all. Here the feast of singing together is celebrated, the end result being a performance of Handel's oratorio that you wouldn't want on CD, but which is of a surprisingly high standard and, above all, one you wouldn't have wanted to miss for the world. Much has been written about the problems... 

Theatre sector: "Municipalities, stop building theatres!"

Always nice when someone sets up a committee to solve all the problems. The Dutch theatre sector did just that a few months ago. Led by former minister Guusje Ter Horst, Rinda den Besten (former Utrecht alderman), Sadik Harchaoui (Forum) and Ryclef Rienstra (VandenEnde Foundation) examined what could be better in the relationship between theatre and the... 

Bussemaker: 'increase' subsidy paid for with artists' pensions

The second chamber was also keen to know what exactly Culture Minister Bussemaker meant by that 'cash shift'. After all, it was that cash shift with which she could festively announce that she would put an extra 18 million into culture, after 2017. In a letter to the chamber, the minister has now shown how creatively she can bookkeep. A few costs... 

No new merger orchestras, no merger Reisopera and Opera Zuid

Bussemaker invests 18 million in the arts and a symphony orchestra for pop and jazz added. It seems too good to be true. And so it is. Because in return for that one extra orchestra, two other orchestras will be cut. At least, that's how the minister's letter can easily be read. That's how I read it too, at least. Currently... 

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 

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... 

A mirror from the bench: 12 much-needed lessons for cultural marketers

Since the Amsterdam Uitmarkt is no longer run by the Uitburo but by a separate foundation, things have become a tad more commercial. The folder-fair-with-bands that has become the national opening of the cultural season over the past decades has to. The government has found art scary for a while now, usual suspects are pulling out as sponsors, and malaise is hitting... 

8 million for talent development, but 4 tough problems remain

Culture minister Jet Bussemaker can again make up for the cultural devastation caused by her predecessor Halbe Zijlstra. As promised earlier, money will be freed up for talent development. That was a demand of the chamber and a wish of the country. Are we happy? Of course. Although happy, there are also a few things that remain troublesome. [Tweet "1 Develop... 

'Museum sector buzzing with collaborative initiatives' but keen to keep doing it themselves

An enthusiastic press release in times of severe headwinds. That calls for a closer look. Last Friday, a study on the state of cooperation in the Dutch museum world was presented. After all, cooperation is a must from minister Bussemaker and sort of from the Council for Culture. So it's nice that things are already going ok. Can we get back to doing nice things.

What the press release does not tell, but the research report makes clear, is that it is not at all that fantastic ...

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NRC doesn't count right: not 11, but at least 34 groups gone due to cuts

According to NRC Handelsblad, the culture cuts became fatal for "only" 11 theatre institutions. They base this on groups that actually disbanded themselves. In their overview, however, they overlook the companies that voluntarily dissolved themselves by merging with another company. In addition, there are a number of institutions that cancelled themselves even before the new round because it was already clear that they would not get any money. Do we count those m...

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Halbe Zijlstra has made history.

After the presentation of the Rotterdam and The Hague arts advisories, and a few days to weeks before the harsh judgements of the Culture Council, and a few months before the scathing reports of the Performing Arts Fund, it is starting to become clear how drastically the Dutch cultural sector is being hit by the Rutte administration's cuts. Halbe Zijlstra has ensured that his cut of 25% to the entire sector, and up to 50% to the performing arts, has become law.

A personal o...

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Increase in 'wish headlines' in arts news around grant applications

The last opportunities for grant applications for 2013 and beyond closed today. Numerous mergers have been announced, new collaborations, high-profile relocations (Amsterdam in particular is emptying out). Many arts media now also carry news about those plans. News that is often presented as fact, while in almost all cases these are wishes. Applications are even fewer than ever... 

Liverpool GGD saves millions on antidepressants thanks to local philharmonic

It saves Liverpool's GGD millions on dispensing antidepressants. And it only costs them a tonne and a half. They spend that much hiring Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra musicians for workshops in addiction clinics. So, no idealistic preaching, as in the countless columns and reactions to Halbes culture cut, but hard pecunia and proven effects. In England,... 

"Battle of the Orchestras" kicks off with name change Orchestra of the East Netherlands Symphony Orchestra

The Netherlands has a new orchestra: the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. At least, new in name. The Orkest van het Oosten does not seem to be waiting for possible forced mergers, and is already claiming its position as the national orchestra outside the Randstad by means of this striking name change that was announced today before the start of a concert with the Jussen brothers.

Opinion: 'Let Joop van den Ende take classical ballet under his wing, merge Nederlands Dans Theater, Nationale Ballet and Scapino Ballet.'

It was predictable. Now that the Culture Council has given the secretary of state a go-ahead for massive and very deep cuts in dance, the first press releases are appearing with the outraged reactions. The National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater are aggrieved: 'How

Dutch Orchestras Visiting Committee puts heels in: "Dear Mr Zijlstra, culture is an essential part of civilisation!"

"Dear Mr Zijlstra, culture is an essential part of civilisation. It contributes to social cohesion and economic growth. The Dutch orchestras can make a major contribution, which, by the way, is not synonymous with everything just staying as it was." Unlike the 'Table of Six', the talking shop of six arts bobos who, in their enthusiasm about an entrance at... 

Rutteleaks 4 on orchestras: 'Mergers Brabants Orkest and Limburg Symphony Orchestra, Gelders Orkest and Orkest v.h. Oosten, Residentie Orkest and RphO'

Of course we are being horribly abused. By the coughing chain-smoker with his trench coat in that Hague car park. Is there a bigger plan behind it. Which again we know nothing about, but which will become clear on 23 May. So be it. Until then, we can do nothing but slavishly write down what the coughing oracle coughs at us. Well: We already knew that... 

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