Holland Festival 2015, Ruth Mackenzie's first festival programme

On May 30 2015, the 68th Holland Festival opens in the Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam with a Turkisch music programme Boğazı Geçen Şarkılar (Songs across the Bosporus), led by the Turkish folk ensemble Kardes Türküler with special guest the classically trained Turkish pop star Candan Erçetin.
The festival includes 3 focuses for the programme: a tribute to Pierre Boulez to mark his 90th birthday; an extensive programme of Turkish music; and a selection of theatre performances themed Power and the people, looking at the impact of leadership on the lives of their people and women overcoming the obstacles that face them.

The Holland Festival, under the artistic leadership of Ruth Mackenzie CBE since September 2014, is the largest festival of international performing arts in The Netherlands. Mackenzie is committed to keeping the great traditions of the festival, but the greatest is the tradition of innovation. In the next few years, Mackenzie will introduce new traditions as well as keeping the commitment to world excellence from every continent of the world, inviting established names and new talent, presented both in traditional and surprising new venues.
After the opening show at Carré, there will be a big first night party, free to every household in The Netherlands, in collaboration with 3FM and 3voor12. A great line-up of DJ's will be streamed live into people's houses, so that anyone who's up for it can join the party in their own home. In the afternoon prior to the opening concert, visual artist Liam Gillick's free installation will be opened at the Museumplein, in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum.

The music programme begins with a focus on Turkey and surrounding countries, over weekends in Paradiso, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and Podium Mozaïek, music inspired by sufi traditions led by Al-Kindi and Mercan Dede, symphonic rock starring mor ve ötesi and Şebnem Ferah and the Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble inspired by Armenian composer Gurdjieff. The festival honours the 'grand maitre' of experiment, composer Pierre Boulez. In Beyond the Score®: a portrait of Pierre Boulez, Asko|Schönberg and Slagwerk Den Haag perform key passages from his oeuvre, in a production designed by the architect Frank Gehry. At the Gashouder, the Ensemble intercontemporain will give audiences the 'in the round' experience of Boulez' groundbreaking composition Répons. Boulez' music will also feature in 12 Hour PROM, a 12 hour concert which is to become a new tradition at the Holland Festival. This year's line-up includes Eva-Maria Westbroek, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Anna Calvi with the Metropole Orchestra. At the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, the ensemble Klangforum Wien develop a new capital for Europe, Urbo Kune, with contributions by the Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan, the Dutch architect Francine Houben and writer Dutch Arnon Grunberg. In this 68th edition, the Holland Festival will also launch a new campaign, Save the Bassoon, with eight short world premieres which celebrate the beautiful sound of this endangered instrument.

The theatre programme takes on the theme of Power and the People. The renowned Catalonian group La Fura dels Baus bring M.U.R.S., a smart show where political criticism meets new technology. The Chilean company La Re-sentida return to the festival with La imaginación del futuro. The Gorki Theatre turn the Ring Cycle into a play directed by Sebastian Nübling. Ivo van Hove and his Toneelgroep Amsterdam bring Kings of war, a performance combining three of Shakespeare's history plays. Amir Nizar Zuabi brings his piece about a Syrian refugee searching for her identity and her lover, Oh My Sweet Land. This play is an example of the theme of women overcoming the obstacles that face them, along with Angélica Liddell's You are my destiny, Christiane Jatahy’s What if they went to Moscow?, as well as Alban Berg´s Lulu, by Dutch National Opera, directed by William Kentridge.

In addition to Lulu, the music theatre programme also includes Keiichiro Shibuya's Japanese pop opera The End, featuring the digital star Hatsune Miku. Two world premieres both see Dutch and Chinese artists work together: Dutch composer Arnoud Noordegraaf's latest opera As Big As The Sky features set design and videos by the world renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Dutch filmmaker Frank Scheffer has made a documentary about the Chinese composer Guo Wenjing, which will be part of the world premiere of Wenjing's latest opera Si Fan at the festival.

The dance programme begins with the world premiere of Extremalism, a large scale work by Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten featuring 30 dancers from ICKamsterdam and Ballet de Marseille. Boris Charmatz returns to the Holland Festival with his latest show manger. The Swedish Cullberg Ballet present a double bill with new works by choreographers Eszter Salamon and Trajal Harrell. 

The Holland Festival will present a total of 45 productions with 99 performances, concerts and events spread over 25 days. The festival runs from 30 May to 23 June 2015. Tickets are available at www.hollandfestival.nl