May 9, 2018

Dutch orchestra gets first female conductor

Filed under: Dutch first,Music by Orangemaster @ 3:43 pm

The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, which ranks third in the hierarchy behind the Concertgebouw and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, has just appointed its first ever female conductor, the American Karina Canellakis, 36, who will succeed German conductor Markus Stenz in September 2019.

Canellakis, the first woman music director of a major Dutch orchestra, made her debut at the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Utrecht and Amsterdam, with works from Britten, Shostakovich and Beethoven. In 2016 she won the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. Canellakis was also assistant to Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden in Dallas and is being introduced to Dutch media as his protegée. She credits her first conducting opportunity to a stint at the Berlin Philharmonic Academy, when Sir Simon Rattle offered her the baton.

(Links:,, Photo of Carlo Antonio Testore violin, Milan, 1738 by Jason Hollinger, some rights reserved)

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January 29, 2018

Dutch orchestra LUDWIG wins Grammy award

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 2:21 pm

On Sunday, 28 January 2018, Dutch classical music orchestra LUDWIG won a Grammy in the category Best Classical Solo Vocal Album with ‘Crazy Girl Crazy’, directed and sung by Canadian conductor and soprano Barbara Hannigan, aka the ‘conducting soprano’.

Peppie Wiersma, artistic director of the collective, qualified this feat as ‘quite incredible’. “We’ve only been doing this for a few years and this is our first CD. The fact that we’re the only Dutch winners makes it extra special”. The album Crazy Girl Crazy includes the Girl Crazy Suite, with music written by George Gershwin and lyrics by his brother Ira Gershwin.

Despite receiving no subsidies or not really doing any fancy marketing (a very big point of contention in the Netherlands), LUDWIG was very quickly successful and has won many Dutch prizes since their debut in 2014.

The only other Dutch person to be nominated for a Grammy this year was conductor Reinbert de Leeuw in the category Best Classical Compendium, but unfortunately, he did not win. The 79-year-old De Leeuw was said to have been ‘a bit disappointed’.

Here is LUDWIG performing in concert.

(Link:, Photo of Carlo Antonio Testore violin, Milan, 1738 by Jason Hollinger, some rights reserved)

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November 4, 2011

Conductor of the Year 2012 for Jaap van Zweden

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

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.


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March 29, 2007

F-16s fly higher to accommodate choir

Filed under: Aviation,General by Orangemaster @ 5:17 pm

F-16 pilots were given the order to fly a minimum of three kilometers above the town of Dokkum in order not to disrupt a jubileum performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in a local church. The local Cantarix choir had been practising for months and found out recently that the Air Force was scheduled to fly right over their church venue during their performance. The Royal Netherlands Air Force is currently stretching its wings for a mission in Afghanistan.


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