Orchestras protest Netherland’s cuts to cultural support

Posted on: August 16, 2011

Nearly 30 orchestras are taking part in a protest of the Dutch government’s cuts to the country’s cultural budget. According to organizer Gijs Kramers, artistic director of the Ricciotti ensemble in Amsterdam and a violist in London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, “the cuts are as much as 30% of the total budget and among the many victims will be four of the current twelve professional orchestras as well as the majority of the institutions that currently generate and develop talent. If this goes ahead, a major part of our cultural heritage will get demolished.” Kramers has asked orchestras to demonstrate their solidarity by performing and videotaping a brief selection from Rogier van Otterloo’s score for Soldier of Orange, a 1977 film by Paul Verhoeven about the Dutch resistance in the Second World War. Orchestras are then asked to post the recordings on YouTube to draw public attention to the cuts. The first contribution came from the Philharmonia Orchestra under conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen; other orchestras to post their performances include WDR Cologne, Hong King Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, and, most recently, the European Youth Orchestra. Thus far, no American orchestras are represented. For more information, visit the “Soldier of Orange” website.

Posted August 16, 2011