The 72nd edition of the Holland Festival starts on Wednesday, 29 May 2019. The Holland Festival is putting the world on stage with both new names and great masters, from Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, the United States, South Africa and other countries. This is the first edition in which we are working with associate artists; for 2019 William Kentridge and Faustin Linyekula. We are presenting new work by both artists and showing work by artists related to them. This year the festival is also presenting the immense Stockhausen project aus LICHT. The  programme consists of 39 performances and concerts and an extensive context programme. 

The festival is opening with The Head & The Load in Theater Amsterdam (in the Houthavens), William Kentridge's new music theatre production with music by Philip Miller and Thuthuka Sibisi and choreography by Gregory Maqoma. The Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and the Catalan theatre maker Angélica Liddell are returning with recent work. New to the festival are the Frenchman Philippe Quesne and Krystian Lupa from Poland; both are internationally regarded as amongst the most important contemporary European theatre directors. A unique piece is composer Bryce Dessner’s and the ensemble Roomful of Teeth's music theatre performance Triptych, about the controversial American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's work. 

Associate artists
With the South African William Kentridge and the Congolese Faustin Linyekula as associate artists, this year's festival has joined forces with two artists who live and work in Sub-Saharan Africa, whose work has a global scope, and who each has great stature in their respective disciplines. The festival is giving prominence to new work by both artists in the programme, and exploring their sources of inspiration, themes and ambitions. As well as the opening performance, Kentridge's Paper Music and Ursonate are being staged, and Eye Film Museum is screening William Kentridge - Ten Drawings for Projection, an exhibition which includes the short films that earned him so much fame. Faustin Linyekula is presenting his latest work Congo, a poetic representation of his homeland, Sur les traces de Dinozord, one of the most distinctive performances in his oeuvre to date, and Not Another Diva..., which he made with the South African singer Hlengiwe Lushaba and is being staged at both the Muziekgebouw and the Cultureel Educatief Centrum in Amsterdam-Zuidoost. He is also directing Parliament debout, a theatrical parade through Amsterdam-Zuidoost. At this year's festival Frascati will be our associate artists’ 'home' for two weeks, with a special programme which includes work by Kentridge and Linyekula as well as giving a stage to as-yet-unknown artists from their studios and related artists, such as the South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma and the Portuguese theatre maker Tiago Rodrigues. 

Karlheinz Stockhausen
In collaboration with the Dutch National Opera, the Royal Conservatoire The Hague and the Stockhausen-Stiftung für Musik, the Holland Festival is presenting aus LICHT, a large selection from Karlheinz Stockhausen's magnum opus LICHT, Die sieben Tage der Woche. It will be one of the Holland Festival's biggest productions ever: a 15-hour music theatre marathon spread over three days, with one of the many highlights being the HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT, performed from four helicopters high in the sky above the Gashouder in Amsterdam's Westergasfabriek. The British producer and DJ Actress shows why Stockhausen is one of his greatest sources of inspiration in Actress x Stockhausen Sin {x} II. There will also be electronic music from the Dutchman Colin Benders (formerly Kyteman), who will be in the Main Hall of the Concertgebouw with his Electro Symphonic Orchestra. 

The world on stage
The Holland Festival provides a platform - perhaps more than ever this year - for work from around the world. We are presenting the Colombian Mapa Teatro's Los Incontados: un tríptico, a triptych about the country's violent history. The Chilean director Marco Layera (this time without his group La Re-Sentida) is staging a performance with and about nine teenage girls. Mitra is music theatre which tells the oppressive, true story of an Iranian psychoanalyst, and Turan Dokht is an 'intercultural rewriting' of Puccini's opera Turandot by Iranian-Dutch composer Aftab Darvishi and Dutch director Miranda Lakerveld. The French writer and rapper Abd Al Malik will be at the Muziekgebouw with his 'rhythmic rebellion' Le jeune noir à l'épée, in which he tells about his childhood and escape from the French banlieues, using texts by Charles Baudelaire and Édouard Glissant. 

The Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer and his chamber orchestra Kremerata Baltica are an eye-catcher in the music programme. They are taking a closer look at the Russian composer Mieczysław Weinberg's music and eventful life. The Muziekgebouw is hosting the installation Eight, a digital project by the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa in which he uses virtual reality to create a spatial experience of music theatre. 

In the theatre programming, International Theater Amsterdam's The Cherry Orchard is being co-produced with the Holland Festival. Director Simon McBurney, who the Holland Festival introduced to the Netherlands, is now directing this local ensemble for the first time. The American Richard Siegal, a newcomer to the festival, is staging Roughhouse, a performance with dadaesque dance about violence in language. 

In an extensive context programme with debates, workshops and introductions, the Holland Festival is fleshing out the main programme. This year we are collaborating with The Black Archives and Black Renaissance, De Balie and Mister Motley. The debate series entitled The Welcome Table discusses the festival's important topics and themes, such as postcolonialism, identity and untold stories. Associate artists William Kentridge and Faustin Linyekula will also have discussions with each other and other artists. Prior to the festival we are screening a series of films related to the performances. 

The Holland Festival attaches great importance to the festival being accessible to everyone, for which it has a differentiated pricing policy. As well as its regular discounts for young people, students and art students, the performances Not Another Diva … and Electro Symphonic Orchestra have a uniform low price of just € 15 this year. Several performances can also be attended for free: Parlement debout, Vehicle, The Invisible Exhibition, Opera in the Park and Listening party with Eddy De Clercq. As in previous years, the festival is participating in Do an Encore, a campaign which invites festival visitors to contribute towards entrance tickets for those unable to afford them. 

Holland Festival presents 64 productions in total, consisting of 139 performances / concerts / events, during 26 days; including 9 world premieres, 7 European premieres, and 20 Dutch premieres. The festival is taking place from 29 May to 23 June 2019.