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rotterdam philharmonic orchestra

Jolanda Spoel seamlessly forges hip-hop and classical together in Melomaniac. And that is quite difficult

'They come from two worlds, but work together towards something that is one. Jolanda Spoel has done that perfectly'. Katinka Reinders, head of education at the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, is enthusiastic after one of the first play-in performances of Melomaniac at Maas Theatre & Dance. Just now, a room full of somewhat timid secondary school students turned into a churning group of lovers of... 

'This new law means even more obstacles and restrictions for visiting culture.'

Honourable members of the House of Representatives, It is with great concern that we look at the Temporary Test Act that will be voted on in your House on Tuesday 11 May. This new law means even more hurdles and restrictions for visiting culture. Restrictions that will be introduced but where the end date is not given. This new testing law could be a godsend for... 

'For a year I dragged Ravel's scores everywhere' - Bart Visman orchestrates 'Ondine'

Dutch composer Bart Visman (1962) has already written many wonderful works of his own, but makes his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with an orchestration of 'Ondine'. This is the first movement from Maurice Ravel's three-part piano cycle Gaspard de la nuit. It is the prelude to an integral orchestration, to be premiered next season. 'I am of the same... 

49th edition Film Festival Rotterdam opens with Mosquito - history as a fever dream

In the trailer for the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which kicks off on 22 January, film images crumble into abstract shapes and colour patterns. It has to do, I understand, with the wonder of the irrepressible urge to make stories. Once, a cave dweller put a painted hand on the rock face. In the digital age, we conjure stories with coloured pixels. The... 

'I decided to make an unabashedly grand romantic gesture and blow people away' - Mathilde Wantenaar writes new piece for Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Being creative on demand? That's impossible, you would think. Yet it is the reality for composers and artists who work on commission. Mathilde Wantenaar (1993) therefore got acute choice stress when the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra asked her for a new piece. She was just working on a commission from De Nationale Opera. 'I felt like a rabbit in the... 

Shout out! The big fill-in for the new arts plan.

The Council for Culture has just proposed the new Basic Infrastructure (BIS), and it has become a very big, in traditional terms 'prosperous', baby. Since the Council is not allowed to name names, and can only list functions, we have already made a fill-in list here, in which we list (very briefly, because little time and not knowing about everything) which existing cultural... 

Prince Igor at The National Opera: unfulfilled expectations

'Unleashing war is the best way to escape from yourself,' we read on the gauze screen in front of the Stopera stage. Then the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra begins Alexander Borodin's Prince Igor. A catchy one-liner, but it raises expectations that are not met. Musically, too, this co-production of De Nationale Opera and the New... 

Congratulations to Daniel Reuss on royal honour!

On Tuesday 2 November, Cappella Amsterdam presented a new CD at the Orgelpark. This includes Arvo Pärt's large-scale choral work Kanon Pokajanen, which was also performed live. After the concert, chief conductor Daniel Reuss was appointed Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion. This very high royal decoration is only awarded to people "with extraordinary merits... 

Cello Biennale full of highlights: 'Cellists are just nice people'

It no longer buzzes, hums, sings, saws and buzzes in the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. The cello caravan has left. The sixth edition of the Cello Biennale Amsterdam is over, leaving the thousands of cello and music fans with a feeling of emptiness. Nowhere else does such an amazing festival of cello take place in ten days, where the audience feels like... 

Sounding moths, ink drops and string mists in Cello Biennale

'He likes a joke,' says Fedor Teunisse of Slagwerk Den Haag, calling composer Brendan Faegre (1985) onto the Bimhuis stage. The young composer explains how the percussionists and the Biennale Cello Band should perform his Magical Quest for the Enchanted Armor. 'It's a game piece,' he says enthusiastically. 'The four percussionists and four cellists... 

Jubilee concert #DNO: unnecessary flexing of muscles

'I feel cheated,' said the man next to me as we left the auditorium at ten to nine-thirty. He had come all the way from Tilburg to the Stopera for the concert that concluded the National Opera's 50th anniversary on Wednesday 29 June. 'It will take me even longer than the concert lasted, including intermission,' he grumbled. He also had little to say about the offering itself. And that while all around us the audience stood on their seats to cheer on the internationally renowned soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek.

With George Pieterson, music life loses another coryphée

Last Sunday, 24 April, clarinetist George Pieterson died at his home in Amsterdam, aged 74. 'George was an iconic player with a big musical heart,' says his former student Frank van den Brink. 'He invariably went full steam ahead and whichever recording you listen to, his playing is always remarkable. You didn't necessarily have to put up with his... 

Rotterdam's Gergiev Festival delivers a brand new masterpiece

'Rachmaninov's melodic gift is impressive and makes the composer very popular'. This is how Valery Gergiev pithily sums up the quality of Rachmaninov's music. The Gergiev Festival that centred around this composer this weekend emphatically sticks to the popular works: the piano concertos and symphonies . Yet it omits many compositions that could have given these works more framework.... 

Where did Rachmaninov's success come from?

Actually, Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) was a bit of an oddity, an anachronism. He bit into the composition style of his great example Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who died in 1893. When contrasting Rachmaninov with some of his contemporaries (Dmitri Shostakowich, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Strawinsky and overseas Charles Ives, George Antheil and Edgard Varèse), it is only right to notice... 

Hans van Beers is no more - another loss for Dutch cultural life

On Tuesday afternoon, 25 August, Hans van Beers (Eindhoven, 1941) passed away. He was an important figure in our cultural life, his curriculum is seemingly endless. Among other things, he was alderman of culture in Den Bosch, co-founder of Pinkpop, chairman of the Mondriaan Fund, interim director of the Stedelijk Museum, director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the VPRO and the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music, board member... 

De Doelen concert hall opts for content and sells 23 per cent more

Concert & Congress hall De Doelen in Rotterdam will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. That is, 50 years ago, the current venue was festively opened. The building by architects Kraaijvanger and Fledderus was the first major public building of the reconstruction after German bombs destroyed the city on 10 May 1940. However, its name goes back much longer. The at... 

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... 

Carel Kraayenhof: 'Most people think I'm inside.'

When you think of Carel Kraayenhof, you don't immediately think of a young squatter orating about Karl Marx in circle discussions. Yet protest resides in the musician, just like in the tango. This becomes apparent when the interview gets off to a brisk start.
'If anyone knows how to penetrate the soul of tango, it is Carel Kraayenhof.' Says Mike Schaperclaus, innovator with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which is performing the production Julia in Ahoy in June. 'Everything falls into place: that's the feeling we had when we heard...

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Crushing Benvenuto Cellini by Terry Gilliam

Even before the final notes of Benvenuto Cellini had sounded, the audience erupted in loud cheers and cheers last night (12 May). So Monty Python director Terry Gilliam's team pulled out all the stops to make this first opera by Hector Berlioz an unforgettable experience. That his dadaesque staging evokes memories of the joke-and-roll approach of the... 

Five questions to Willem Jeths, Composer of the Fatherland

Willem Jeths (1959) is one of the most successful Dutch composers. Through his enormous craftsmanship and drive, he manages to create his own sound world, which is surprising yet accessible. His work is regularly performed at home and abroad and has appeared on many CDs. In 2014, he received the Amsterdam Prize for the Arts and later that year he was appointed 

Faust: eye- and ear-pleasing, but distant

In Catholic Limburg, I was taught catechism every week in primary school. "What are we here on earth for?", asked Mr pastor. With the whole class we droned out the answer: "To become happy here and in the hereafter." A similar question occurred to me last night during the performance of the opera Faust by Charles Gounod at The National Opera. "To what end do we go to the theatre?" For me, the answer is: "To be touched, purified, yes maybe even happy." Given the rave reviews, I expected that this would indeed be the case.

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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Suddenly controversial photo project on Sotchi gets alternative opening in Moscow

The photo documentary made by photographer Rob Hornstra on the preparations for the Sotchi Olympics will be shown in Moscow after all. At least we hope so, now that after an earlier sudden cancellation, a venue has been found at Moscow's Sakharov House. Next Friday, Dutch fans can attend the opening from Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg (bring your own beer). Unless the row with Moscow has gone so high that instead of Willem Alexander, we have a few straa...

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