Conductor of the Year 2012 for Jaap van Zweden

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Amsterdam-born conductor and violinist Jaap van Zweden has been chosen as Conductor of the Year 2012 by a professional American jury of publisher Musical America, and will be awarded the prestigious prize in New York City on 5 December.

Van Zweden is currently Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and has a string of other impressive credentials, including having been appointed as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam at age 19.

Although I knew his name from long ago having worked in a classical music store, he made a big impression on telly back in November 2010 by criticising the current government’s plan to cut 20% of the budget for cultural institutions within a one year period and abolish four internationally known and well-established classical ones.

He explains that the Dutch pay taxes to fund the arts as opposed to voluntary contributions from wealthy donors and companies like in the US (endowment). He thinks it’s unfair that the Dutch government cuts into culture, but keeps the money people put it to fund it. And if the Dutch want a more American like system, it needs more than just a year to make it work.

“We asked [Dutch] politicians why all these institutions have to disappear and no-bo-dy wanted to explain it to us.” The populistic politician in this clip doesn’t care about the quality of any top institution, as he claims 90% of ordinary people don’t go to classical music concerts and their taxes shouldn’t be used for that.

I’d like to stop paying taxes for their white trash xenophobic kids, so let’s make a deal.

(Link: at5.nl, www.imgartists.com)

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