looking for an artistic director



The Holland Festival is looking for an

artistic director

from 1 January 2018, who will curate the 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 festival editions.

The Holland Festival is a leading international performing arts festival in Amsterdam that promotes innovation and the introduction of artists and new forms in its programme. The festival links the celebration of established art and artists with experimentation or forms of performing arts that are challenging for the audience. The annual festival programme surprises regular visitors, is enjoyable for a wider festival audience, and successfully entices a new audience to visit the festival's performances and concerts. The Holland Festival is an 'artist-driven' festival: we see the world through the eyes of artists; art is what steers the festival. 

The Holland Festival wants to be a contemporary festival: the high-quality programme reflects or questions current developments in art and society. The Holland Festival is also a significant festival, with an audience reach of around 75,000 visits (depending on the size of the programme) and an occupancy of approximately 80%. In the month of June, the festival is highly visible in Amsterdam, and it wants to engage as large and diverse an audience as possible, and entice a new audience each year to visit one of the festival’s performances. 


The Holland Festival receives subsidies of the Dutch government and the municipality of Amsterdam. Audience revenue, contributions from private funds and corporate sponsors and donations from individuals (Friends of the Holland Festival) are also vital sources of income.

The Holland Festival's governance model has been changed. As of 1 January 2018, there will be a general director who is responsible for the overall policy. The artistic director will report to the general director, but also has direct access to the supervisory board, attending board meetings among other things. 

The festival has two programmers - one responsible for theatre and dance, and one responsible for music and music theatre - with good national and international reputation, and an extensive relevant network. The programmers supply the artistic team - consisting of the artistic director, the general director and themselves - with ideas and possibilities, based on artistic interest, relevance and urgency as partly predetermined by the artistic director. 

The artistic director

The artistic director chairs this team. He/she will further develop the artistic position of the festival in a national as well as an international context, in collaboration with the artistic team. He/she will ask questions, have discussions, make proposals and give the Holland Festival a distinctive artistic vision for four editions. He/she is well able to reason about his/her ideas and interests, opinions on art and society, and the position and/or function that the festival has or should have. 

Given the composition of the team, the festival is looking for an artist. We expect him/her to play a guiding role inspired by his/her own artistic signature - enhance our view, surprise or astound us, and thus giving the festival's programme a new impetus. 

The artistic director
- has international experience or at least a demonstrably international perspective
- has a broad interest in the various performing arts disciplines
- is verbally gifted and can work well in a team
- is aware of what is going on in the Dutch cultural landscape or willing to quickly get acquainted
- has affinity with the Holland Festival's current policy (as specified in the policy plan 2017-2020) and is aware of the Holland Festival's subsidy conditions.

The artistic director will be appointed for four editions. The contract will begin in principle in January 2018 and will expire after the last of the four editions (at the end of June 2022). It is based on working part-time, approximately 50%. This will be formalised in an employment contract or an agreement to provide services. Remuneration will be offered in compliance with the Dutch law on maximum salaries for executives in public office (Wet Normering Topinkomens), based on full time equivalent. 

The policy plan 2017-2020 (in Dutch and English) is available on this website. The 2017 festival programme, the archive of 70 years Holland Festival, and various background pieces can be found on the site as well. Audio-visual material can also be seen/heard on the Holland Festival YouTube channel .

If you are interested in this position and if you have the qualifications described above, you are requested to send your curriculum vitae and a short letter which includes a brief account of your vision for the Holland Festival. This should be sent before 9 September to the following address: [email protected] stating ‘artistic director’ in the subject. Your response shall be treated confidentially. 

The first interviews will be conducted on 19, 20 and 21 October.

Please do not make use of this vacancy as an acquisition opportunity.