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Composer Victoria Borisova-Ollas: 'Music has no nationality'

The most recent achievement of Russian-Swedish composer Victoria Borisova-Ollas (b. 1969) is Dracula. This opera based on Bram Stoker's book of the same name premiered at Royal Opera Stockholm in October 2017. A 'colourful and highly atmospheric musical score', it included 'one of the most emotional scenes in the history of Swedish opera', wrote one critic. Seven years earlier,... 

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,... 

Masses in the Kloosterkerk (photo Christiaan de Roo)

Mozart, Kortjakje and the princess

Last weekend 250 years ago, nine-year-old Mozart arrived in The Hague with his parents and sister Nannerl. He arrived on 11 September 1765 to perform at the stadholder court. Due to illness, the Mozarts ended up staying for nine months and the young composer wrote several works here. Harpsichordist and conductor Jörn Boysen organised the festival Mozart in The... 

The organ is missing! No renowned concert hall for Hague cultural complex

Last Thursday, there was another consultation in The Hague about Jo Coenen's new cultural complex. Opponents wanted to get the plans off the table, which at this stage could no longer be done. But a striking argument was that this cultural palace would never be among the renowned concert halls because it lacks an organ. A fallacy or a major problem? The construction of the Education and Culture Complex... 

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... 

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 ... 

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.

The world's most beautiful artist foyer is in the Zuiderstrand Theatre

So the building is a bit redundant, well considered. After years of drawing, tug-of-war and plans for a new venue complex in the city centre of The Hague, local politicians blew off the Spui Forum earlier this year. Now, I'm sure there will have been all kinds of criticisms of that building plan, but the consequences of the lokalos blowing it off are not... 

Frighteningly predictable or provocatively good? The Player at De Nederlandse Opera

Prokofiev's The Player is an hour and a half of drama, then after the interval it really becomes opera. This is not down to the soloists, not to the direction or sets, and certainly not to the excellent Residentie Orkest conducted by Marc Albrecht. Perhaps the music and libretto are too ingenious, Prokofiev was too faithful to Dostoevsky's book to make it a real opera. And perhaps Andrea Breth is too good a stage director for this opera. "Watch the surtitles especially carefully," she told me just before the premiere, "so you don't miss anything."

Saskia Kriekhaus has her director's job back. Now all that remains is a workplace.

She was accused of fraud and therefore suspended in September. However, a judgment has now been handed down in the summary proceedings that Saskia Kriekhaus, director of the Lucent Danstheater and the Anton Philipszaal, both in The Hague, had filed against her dismissal. And so Saskia Kriekhaus won that. So that suddenly everyone in The Hague's arts sector is heartbroken,... 

It's final: the format for arts subsidies until 2016 is with the chamber

We have another letter from the secretary of state for culture. Halbe Zijlstra has sent it to parliament, to make it official that from 2013 a very bleak wind is going to blow in arts land. That makes cuts of 200 million final, still excluding the probably 150 million in so-called friction costs that the ministry also has to get from somewhere (u... 

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