|Dutch Mountains Opening presents Netherlands’ finest
After Austria, Luxembourg and Canada, this year’s opening country was the Netherlands. The ceremony was produced by Classical:NEXT 2016 hosts De Doelen, who are also celebrating their 50th anniversary this month.
For a country renowned for its flatness, the heights the Netherlands’ art music were very much on show at the Classical:NEXT 2016 gala Opening. The “Dutch Mountains” Opening featured a wide range of Dutch talent. The concert was heralded by contemporary marching band 9 x 13 and featured classical guitar innovator Aart Strootman (who performed the world premiere of his ‘Counterpoint 21’), sonic adventurers Ensemble Klang, boundary-breaking collective LUDWIG (who tonight announced the inclusion of Barbara Hannigan as a member of its collective), celebrated proponent of ‘pianism’ Ralph van Raat and anti-traditional percussion ensemble Slagwerk Den Haag all took to the stage. These glimpses into the Dutch art music world were connected and interwoven with specially-commissioned work by pioneering video-maker Jules van Hulst of the acclaimed 33⅓ Collective. A tutti performance of Louis Andriessen’s piece ‘Workers Union’ wrapped-up the tightly-curated evening that brought together such disparate as operatic spinning tops, jawbones-as-percussion and tales of Buddhist moss-gardens.
The opening was produced on behalf of, and with the support of, Dutch Performing Arts. The opening artists were selected by De Doelen, advised by young Dutch curators Masa Spaan, Shane Burmania and Floris Kortie.
“Create works that tell the story of our time”: Keynotes give food for thought – Deutsche Grammophon and Apple Music announce new cooperation
A highlight of the evening was the keynote address, which was split four ways: statements were made by Dr Clemens Trautmann, CEO of Deutsche Grammophon, Hans-Hermann Rehberg of the Berlin Radio Choir, and Beth Morrison of Beth Morrison Projects, and a specially-recorded video message was delivered by world-famous conductor and orchestral director Michael Tilson Thomas.
Acknowledging Classical:NEXT as one of the industry’s most important events, Trautmann exclusively announced Deutsche Grammophon’s new initiative with Apple Music, creating a curated online space which can become a “prime destination for veteran followers, as well as new listeners”. (More details will follow in their press release on Thursday 26 May).
A prominent topic of the keynote was the need for continuing accessibility and relevance. Morrison urged the art music world to “create works that tell the story of our time”; Trautmann gave advice for the assembled Classical:NEXT delegates: “Stay curious, stay hungry and stay paranoid. As we know, only the paranoid survive. But most importantly, have fun!”; and Rehberg summarised the core tennet of Classical:NEXT in proclaiming “the reason why I am here is to talk to many of you in order to get new ideas, be inspired and create something new for both the Berlin Radio Choir and its audience”.
For downloadable press photographs from the Opening concert, see below.