Eva-Maria Westbroek is is widely regarded as one of the finest sopranos of our time. Westbroek studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Her teachers included the Italian soprano Iris Adami Corradetti and the American tenor James McCray. She debuted as opera singer at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1994 and secured a
5-year contract at the Staatsoper Stuttgart in 2001. She performed roles such as Carlotta Nardi in Franz Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten, Donna Anna in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Emilia Marty in Věc Makropulos by Leoš Janáček. In 2006, while leaving Stuttgart, she was given the title of 'Kammersängerin der Staatsoper Stuttgart'. In 2003 she debuted at the Salzburger Festspiele with a performance of Egon Wellesz’s Die Backchantinnen and in 2004 she sang in Dialogues des carmélites by Francis Poulenc in the Opéra Bastille in Paris. In 2011 she performed her first world premiere in the Royal Opera House in London in the role of the American actress Anna Nicole Smith, in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera about the actress’s life. Westbroek won the prestigious classic music prize the Grand Prix Antoine Livio in 2008. With the DVD release of her debut at the Dutch National Opera in the role of Katerina Izmailova in Dmitri Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk Westbroek won the Dutch VSCD Klassieke Muziekprijs.
Anna Calvi (1980) is an English singer-songwriter and guitar player. She is known for her intense, passionate and romantic style, that combines influences from alternative rock, 1960s pop and 20th-century classical music of composers such as Steve Reich and Olivier Messiaen. After a long period of doubts about her own voice, during which she trained herself by singing along to Édith Piaf and Nina Simone records for hours on end, she released her eponymous debut album at the age of 30. It became a big success all over Europe and received a nomination for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for albums released in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The following year she was invited to take part in the jury herself, after which her second album One Breath got nominated again in 2013. Calvin has various famous fans, such as fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and the ambient musician and music producer Brian Eno. Eno called Calvi ‘the biggest thing since Patti Smith’ in an interview and played on her debut album. Byrne did two guest contributions to her recent EP Strange Weather that features five cover versions of some of Calvi’s favourite songs. Calvi herself contributed to albums of Noah And The Whale and Marianne Faithfull.
The Swiss countertenor Terry Wey (1985) is a specialist in Renaissance polyphony and early music in general. Wey studied at the conservatory of Vienna, after debuting as a singer in youth choir Die Wiener Sängerknaben. After his studies he performed in numerous concert halls and festivals, including Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Barbican Centre in Londen, the Swiss Lucerne Festival and in the opening concert of the 2009 Salzburger Festspiele. As an opera singer he performed roles such as Oberon in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ruggiero in Antonio Vivaldi's Orlando furioso and Andronico in Il Giustino by the Italian barok composer Giovanni Legrenzi. He sang in opera houses like the Staatsoper Stuttgart, Teatro Real in Madrid, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Theater an der Wien and the Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele, a special Pentecost edition of the Salzburger Festspiele. Wey regularly worked with conductors specialised in early music like William Christie, Marc Minkowski and Michael Hofstetter. Wey is the co-founder of Cinquecento, an ensemble of six singers that perform Renaissance vocal music.
The Austrian bass Ulfried Staber (1976) is a specialist in baroque and Renaissance music. Staber studied at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz with tenor Martin Klietmann, among others. During his studies he discovered his love for polyphony. He is a part of Cinquecento, an ensemble of six who perform Renaissance vocal music, and vocal quartet Schnittpunktvokal. Previous he sung in vocal ensembles such as Domkantorei Graz, Capella Nova en cantus. He is also active as a solo singer and sang the Marian Vespers of 1610 by Claudio Monteverdi, Die Schöpfung by Joseph Haydn and numerous cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach. He gives vocal workshops in Austria and works for the Austrian department of Caritas, a charity organisation that provides aid to homeless people.
Slagwerk Den Haag (SDH) is – since its inception in 1977 – fascinated by everything concerned with sound, pulse and materials that produce sound. The artists are highly versatile creators and co-creators that aim to amaze and enrich time after time, in every setting imaginable. Both on the traditional arsenal of instruments, as well as on porcelain, equine jaws, glass or 3D-printed instruments. SDH projects reflect the very latest developments, because everything within the power of the members is done to help in the quest for the undiscovered. SDH works alongside trendsetting artists and makers, such as composers Steve Reich, Michael Gordon and Yannis Kyriakides, pianist Ralph van Raat, dance company Club Guy & Roni and illustrator Wouter van Reek. Leading partners, including other disciplines, are among others Orkater, Asko|Schönberg, Veenfabriek and Kytopia. The playing field is extensive; from Bang on a Can in New York to Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ in Amsterdam, from the Holland Festival to the slums of Cairo and from classroom to the beach at the Dutch Oerol Festival. On a regularly basis SDH goes on tour which brought the company to venues in Europe, the United States of America, the Middle East, Japan and recently Indonesia. Apart from concerts SDH’s program includes dance performances, education, (family)music theatre, special events and talent development. The New York Times described SDH as ‘…dazzling percussion group, similarly combined virtuosity and theatricality…’.
Amsterdam Sinfonietta has occupied a unique position as the only professional string orchestra in the Netherlands for the past 25 years. Founded in 1988, with Lev Markiz as its first artistic director, the ensemble has performed throughout the world, touring Europe, China, the United States and Australia. It has appeared at major venues including the Barbican Hall in London, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the National Centre of Performing Arts in Beijing and the Berlin Konzerthaus. The ensemble comprises 22 string players who perform under the leadership of its concertmaster and artistic leader Candida Thompson. This approach to music- making without a conductor is what distinguishes the group from ‘regular’ chamber orchestras. It calls for an extremely intense degree of involvement from all the musicians. The repertoire covers a variety of styles, extending from the Baroque repertoire to contemporary works. Alongside performances of mainstream repertoire, the orchestra frequently champions unjustly neglected or new works. Amsterdam Sinfonietta has recently premièred compositions by David Matthews, Michel van der Aa, Kate Moore, Tigran Mansurian and Peteris Vasks. Leading composers such as Thomas Larcher, Rozalie Hirs and Sofia Gubaidulina are currently composing new works commissioned by Amsterdam Sinfonietta. The ensemble has gained a reputation for creating highly innovative programmes; its trademark versatility recently earned it the prestigious classical music prize De Ovatie in 2013. Amsterdam Sinfonietta’s educational KleuterSinfonietta performances are enjoyed by thousands of young children in the Netherlands each year. It also organises the Sinfonietta Strijkersdagen giving young musicians the opportunity to participate in workshops and perform in public in specially formed string orchestras. Within the past decade Amsterdam Sinfonietta has produced an impressive array of CDs under Candida Thompson’s leadership, in collaboration with the high-quality Channel Classics label. These include ‘Britten’ (2013), ‘Shostakovich & Weinberg’ (2013) abd ‘The Argentinian Album’ (2014). Recently the orchestra has also recorded CDs for labels such as ECM, Sony Classical and Deutsche Grammophon. During the last few seasons Amsterdam Sinfonietta has undertaken international tours with Sol Gabetta, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Martin Fröst. In early 2014 it joined forces with the American baritone Thomas Hampson, performing a unique song programme in twelve concert halls across Europe. Upcoming projects include a tour of Japan and concerts in the Benelux, Germany and Austria with the cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.
The Metropole Orchestra is the largest professional pop- and jazz orchestra in the world, boasting a full big band and a symphonic string section. Since 2013, the young Brit Jules Buckley has been the orchestra's chief conductor. The musical scope of the orchestra ranges from pop and jazz to chansons, cabaret and world music. The Metropole Orchestra also frequently play film scores and often accompany Dutch and international pop- and jazz artists. The orchestra was formed in 1945 with a view to performing jazz and pop at a high level and re-establishing a sense of 'joie de vivre' among the Dutch people during the years of reconstruction after the war. To that purpose, musicians from all over Europe were recruited. Before Buckley, the orchestra was led by, in chronological order, Dolf van der Linden, Rogier van Otterloo, Dick Bakker and Vince Mendoza. The orchestra has won many awards, including a Golden Harp (a prestigious Dutch oeuvre award) and a Zilveren Reissmicrofoon (prestigious Dutch radio award). In the past 65 years, the Metropole Orchestra has produced more than 150 albums and collaborated on thousands of radio- and television broadcasts. The orchestra has played with some great names in jazz, world music and pop, including Brian Eno, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Astrud Gilberto, Dizzy Gillespie, Pat Metheny, Ivan Lins, Steve Vai, Antony and the Johnsons, Sezen Aksu,
C-mon & Kypski and Snarky Puppy. In recent years, the orchestra has played with the likes of Elvis Costello, Herbie Hancock, The Brecker Brothers, John Scofield and Paquito d'Rivera. The Metropole Orchestra are regular guests at the Holland Festival, as well as other festivals such as North Sea Jazz. Embarking on exciting new partnerships and working with new arrangers and composers has made the Metropole Orchestra more versatile than ever before. Recent performances at Pinkpop, Lowlands, Noorderslag, BBC Proms, the 3FM Awards and collaborations with Gregory Porter. Snarky Puppy, Professor Green and dance duo Basement Jaxx has introduced them to and made them popular with a younger audience as well.
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra occupies a prominent position in Dutch music. With an unfailing commitment to artistic excellence and a balanced programme the currently one hundred strong orchestra grew into one of the best orchestras in the Netherlands. The orchestra was formed in 1945 by Albert van Raalte, who was succeeded by, in chronological order, Paul van Kempen, Bernard Haitink, Jean Fournet, Willem van Otterloo, Hans Vonk, Sergiu Comissiona, Edo de Waart and Jaap van Zweden. In 2012, Markus Stenz was appointed chief conductor. The American conductor James Gaffigan has been principal guest conductor since the 2011-2012 season. Since August 2013, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra has been part of the Stichting Omroep Muziek (Music Broadcast Organisation), along with the Netherlands Radio Choir and the production department of Dutch public broadcaster Radio 4's concert series.
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra has worked with many distinguished guest conductors, including Leopold Stokowski, Kirill Kondrashin, Antal Doráti, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur, Mariss Jansons, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Valery Gergiev. The orchestra plays a prominent part in the various concert series which are broadcast on Dutch radio and television, which are the Saturday Matinee and the Sunday Morning Concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Friday at Vredenburg in Utrecht. The orchestra guarantees adventurous symphonic programming, high quality performance and a plethora of concertante opera performances, including many Dutch and world premieres. As well as in the Dutch Broadcasting Authority's series, the orchestra has also performed abroad, notably at the Festival Musica in 2008 and at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011. The orchestra’s discography is impressive, with legendary recordings released on various imprints from the 1970's, conducted by such famous conductors as Leopold Stokowski and Antal Doráti. A collection of albums with French repertoire was recorded under Jean Fouret. Under Edo de Waart, the complete Mahler Symphonies, a unique Wagner collection and a collection of orchestral works by Rachmaninov were recorded. Various CDs with the works of contemporary composers such as Jonathan Harvey, Klas Torstensson and Jan van Vlijmen received prizes. Under British conductor Mark Wigglesworth the complete symphonies of Shostakovitch were recorded, while Jaap van Zweden conducted the recording of a Bruckner cycle. The live recording under Van Zweden of Wagner's Parsifal for the NTR Saturday Matinee was awarded an Edison Klassiek, one of the most prestigious prizes in Dutch classical music, for Opera in 2012.
The sixty strong Netherlands Radio Choir is the largest professional choir in the Netherlands. Since it was formed in 1945, the choir has performed a broad repertoire, working in varied formations dependent on the work at hand and the wishes of the conductor. The choir is closely affiliated to the Dutch public broadcast organisation NPO. The lion’s share of their concerts includes the NPO broadcast series NTR ZaterdagMatinee, Vrijdag van Vredenburg and Het Zondagochtend Concert, often in collaboration with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. The repertoire performed in these series ranges from classical to contemporary music, including commissioned work by Dutch composers such as Wagemans, Visman, Vleggaar and Diderik Wagenaar, as well as premieres of the works of foreign composers, including MacMillan, Henze and Adams. The choir's programme also includes 'classics' from the 20th century, opera and the Romantic Repertoire. The Netherlands Radio Choir is frequently invited by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker. The choir has recorded an impressive collection of CDs, including recordings of Keuris, MacMillan, Mahler, Poulenc, Rossini and Wagner. The choir's first chief conductor Kenneth Montgomery was succeeded by, in chronological order, Robin Gritton, Martin Wright, Simon Halsey and Celso Antunes. Since the 2012-2013 season Gijs Leenaars has been chief conductor. Michael Gläser has been principal guest conductor since 2010. Since August 2013, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra have been working in partnership with the public broadcasters' Levende Muziek (Living Music) team as part of a new organisation: Stichting Omroep Muziek (Music Broadcast Organisation), which resides at the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep in Hilversum.