To artists who have to seek shelter or who have taken up arms themselves. To cultural institutions who open the doors for taking in refugees. To all brave Russians who vocally condemn Putin’s aggression.
The Holland Festival was founded 75 years ago, in 1947, and first presented concerts, operas and exhibitions under the title ‘High Arts in the Low Lands’ in Amsterdam, Scheveningen, The Hague and Rotterdam. In 1948, the first Holland Festival kicked off with Debussy’s opera Pelleas et Melisande in the Stadsschouwburg of Amsterdam.
The idea - shortly after the war - was that by showing national as well as international art, attention could again be focussed on international collaboration and exchange. Art and artists, we believed, could heal war-torn Europe. International festivals were founded in other countries as well.
In the course of these 75 years, the festival’s focus has expanded from Europe to the entire world. In these difficult times especially, let us use the power of art and culture, effectively and intelligently, to connect.