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Dutch orchestra set to disband

Features - Classical Music

Dutch orchestra set to disband

by Hallam Fulcher on July 9, 2013 (July 9, 2013) filed under Classical Music | Comment Now
Drastic budget cuts by the Dutch Government forces the Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic to close.

The Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic is due to disband after the Dutch Government released a statement yesterday announcing a total cut to the orchestra's funding. The decision was reached after weeks of speculation about the orchestra’s future.

The Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic, founded in 2005, has quickly become one of the the country's most prominent ensembles. Under the directorship of Jaap van Zweden, it has garnered international acclaim from its numerous concerts, tours, and recordings. The orchestra is particularly renowned for its impassioned performances of contemporary music, and was awarded the Muziekgebouw Prize in August 2008 for its performance of Richard Rijnvos’ NYConcerto, with the piano soloist John Snijders. International Record Review wrote of the performance: “Orchestral playing of a truly virtuoso aspect”.

The orchestra previously faced closure in 2010 when similar funding cuts were proposed by the government, however the motion was eventually rejected. It seems the orchestra will not be so lucky this time around, and is due to give its final concert at the Royal Concertgebouw on July 14, playing a program of Bach and Mendelssohn.

The announcement of the orchestra’s closure comes soon after the disbandment of The ERT Orchestra in Athens and Orchestra de Baleares in Majorca, due to similar instances of withdrawn government funding.

Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Yuri Temirkanov, has released a statement in protest of this latest sweep of orchestral casualties:  “The destruction of such historic ensembles will not solve these countries' government's economic problems, but will instead bring a fatal blow to their culture and international prestige," he said. "Times change, but without the maintenance and development of culture, a country has no future.”