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'New venom is added every day.' In book, presenter Naeeda Aurangzeb lets non-white Dutch people experience what comes over them daily

Even though she has lived in the Netherlands since she was three, journalist and radio TV presenter Naeeda Aurangzeb (47) is still not considered a full-fledged compatriot. In her book 365 dagen Nederlander, she gives a disconcerting picture in short sketches of how non-white Dutch people or Dutch people with a migration background are treated. Biology teacher to class 'This is what you call olive-coloured skin. You can... 


It is with great regret that the Holland Festival is forced to cancel the 73rd edition, which was to take place from 4 to 28 June 2020. The corona pandemic's persistent, domestic and foreign restrictions and uncertainties make it impossible for the international performing arts festival to take place. The ongoing, restrictive measures that the central government had to announce 21 April last,... 

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... 

With a cohesive team, you win the World Cup. How the Holland Festival gagged all the cynics this year.

The 2019 Holland Festival was the best in decades. At least in the 25 years I have consciously witnessed it, I cannot recall a national festival that coupled so much impact with so much prestige. Whether visitor targets were met or not will be of no concern to me in this regard. It is, as Volkskrant colleague Hein Janssen once remarked,... 

Naked men and black bronzing under philosophical veneer. Is Angelica Liddell overshooting the mark with The Scarlet Letter? (Why the Holland Festival can expect a riot)

That you cannot shamelessly treat a black man as a rutting primal beast and a faceless object for your unlimited lust fantasy as a white woman? Seems logical to me, but for Angélica Liddell, world-renowned performance artist, it is typical of the new puritanism that threatens free art. She now brings The Scarlet Letter to the Netherlands, a theatrical performance that is rather... 

Music publicist Maarten Brandt: 'For one note from Mahler's Ninth, I would give the gift of Shostakovich's entire oeuvre'

Sounding Alchemy, is the name of the chunky volume recently published by music publicist Maarten Brandt (1953). It has 715 pages, including illustrations and an extensive index. In 98 articles, Brandt unfolds his views on music and music programming. He dedicated the beautifully designed book to his admired Marius Flothuis, programmer of the Concertgebouw Orchestra for many years. His heirs received a first copy during... 

Baltic souls by Cappella Amsterdam: Estonia 100 years independent/not independent

Although Estonia is almost 4,000 square kilometres larger than the Netherlands, it has barely more inhabitants than the province of Utrecht. For centuries, superpowers such as Denmark, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Poland disputed rule over this country on the Baltic Sea. Indeed, its geographical location made it an important link between East and West. It was not until 1918 that a state of its own was declared, but... 

Public broadcasting is salvageable. (Why football should go to commercial)

Our public broadcasting system is unique in the world. Unfortunately, it is not something to be particularly proud of. The system and the thinking behind it are virtually incomprehensible. Or, as NTR director Paul Römer put it less diplomatically in August: we have 'a backward system that cannot be explained to anyone (anymore)'. It was a sideline in his interview with... 

Finds inside (Misha Mengelberg 1935 - 2017)

There is sound; a notion of impotence; a programme without a head or tail; there is power, chatter, compassion; there is nothing but also a vista, blurred image full of action and opposition. Moreover, the language seems a bit overwrought here and there. Of course, incoherent drivel can be cosy, or moving. Under circumstances, meaningfulness may be possible, but it will not... 

Hello, here Hilversum

Last weekend, more than 500 monuments in the Netherlands could be visited for free during the annual Open Monumentendag. Each year, this special day has a theme, this year it was 'Icons and Symbols'. After a thorough restoration, Hilversum's Studio 2 in the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep also opened its doors after 85 years. During the same week, a pop-up exhibition... 

Programmer to talk: Astrid in 't Veld's dream season

When you go to a concert, you think about the music, the ensemble, the soloist and/or the conductor. Maybe you look up something about the composer but you never think about the programmer who made the concert possible. Astrid in 't Veld is someone who thinks about the range of concerts on offer years in advance in order to help you with... 

Joost Galema on writing as a marine and opera singer Bastiaan Everink

Joost Galema, journalist and programme maker, was called one day by Bastiaan Everink. The baritone and ex-marine wanted to make a book about his personal struggles and how music changed his life. Not being a writer, he started looking for a ghostwriter. Joost was third on his list. A few days later, Bastiaan was standing in Joost's Hilversum living room telling his story. The singer talked about marines, survival, violence, Iraq, Wagner's music and a quest. Not a one-dimensional chronicle, Joost thought, and he decided to start working with Bastiaan. After three years

Culture Council: broadcast orchestra should broadcast more, perform less

The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor should focus more on broadcasting and less on concert practice. So says the Council for Culture in an opinion released today on the policy plan of the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Foundation (SOM), which includes the choir and orchestra.

While the Council is very appreciative of the Saturday matinee, are the two other series the Foundation is bringing

Wicked souls in dark times - baroque opera in Saturday Matinee

Baroque specialist and conductor Andrea Marcon, together with his La Cetra Barockorchester, manages to weave a fine lace work in Vivaldi's opera seria Catone in Utica (1678 - 1741), on which, among others, German soprano Anett Fritsch, Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg and striking Italian mezzo-soprano Francesca Ascioti shine like precious jewels. The international cast of Catone in Utica... 

Welcome back to Amsterdam Huang Ruo!

Saturday 13 December, the NTR Saturday matinee presents the world premiere of Unscrolled for piano and orchestra by Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo (Hainan, 1976), with pianist Emanuele Arciuli and the Residentie Orkest conducted by Emilio Pomàrico. This kicks off his three-month stay as composer in residence of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Ruo is the first to receive this honour,... 


Football and dance together again at NTR in ADO danst

From 22 November, the five-part NTR series ADO danst can be seen. This is not the first time football and dance have merged. Surely the most famous example of football and dance is Schijnbewegingen: an NOS film by Piet Erkelens and Pim Marks about the similarities between the two different worlds. They showed this through interviews with... 

Pierre Boulez is alive!?

He is the last surviving avant-gardist, and it will not have escaped new-music lovers that he turned 90 on Thursday, 26 March. I mean, of course, Pierre Boulez, the composer and conductor who once declared Schoenberg dead and suggested that perhaps opera houses should be blown up because of their moldy programming. The same man then tirelessly broke a lance for the music of Arnold Schoenberg ... 

The Tenth of Arrows promo

De Tiende van Tijl is good, proves Podium Witteman

On this website in December 2014, I broke a lance for TV programmes like Maestro, which presented classical music as too easy in the eyes of some. Those same people probably won't have a good word to say about The Tenth of Ten, in which comedian Tijl Beckand introduces classical music through spectacular stories, dramatic histories, often on location in... 

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... 

Composer Henryk Górecki: art or kitsch?

This Saturday, 14 February 2015, Reinbert de Leeuw will conduct the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Polish composer Henryk Górecki's (1933-2010) Fourth Symphony at the NTR Saturday matinee. Górecki established his name overnight in 1992, when the CD of his Third Symphony shot to the top of the classical charts like a flare. The recording of this Symphony... 

NTR Podium

Not just Kunststof TV, NTR Podium is also ending. Long live Podium Witteman.

NTR Podium: the television programme about music and dance, is calling it quits. Tonight is the last broadcast with the Harmonium by John Adams by the Residentie Orkest. In 2015, NTR Podium gives way to the new Podium Witteman. This will be mainly about classical music and jazz.

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