About Residentie Orkest The Hague
The Residentie Orkest is the orchestra of, for and from The Hague. It has firm links with the city and its inhabitants. It also plays a strong role in supporting The Hague’s wider profile as seat of government, home to the royal family and city of peace and justice as well as a centre of diplomacy, a first-rate place to live, a business hub and a city with a socially committed heart. The orchestra actively uses classical music to connect and stimulate all residents and visitors based on four pillars: symphonic, education, talent development and outreach. It aims to make a valuable contribution towards an inclusive, inspiring, collaborative and multi-faceted city.
The orchestra offers a top-quality musical experience with an adventurous profile and dynamic zeal. It challenges, surprises and provides enjoyment and always looks to approach its music in a fresh, contemporary and youthful way. The current home venue is the Zuiderstrandtheater in Scheveningen, but from 2021 this will shift to the new concert hall Amare in the centre of The Hague. The Residentie Orkest can also be heard frequently at locations such as the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht and De Doelen in Rotterdam. In addition, special crossover concerts and other innovative productions are performed in The Hague’s prominent pop venue Paard.
The Residentie Orkest is also part of many prolific collaborations with a wide range of partners, including Pieterskerk in Leiden, the Dutch National Theatre, Kunstmuseum Den Haag, NTR Saturday Matinee and the Dutch National Opera. In recent seasons, the orchestra has played in a highly acclaimed production of Messiaen’s rarely performed opera Saint François d’Asisse as well as in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Puccini’s La bohème and Madama Butterfly and Verdi’s Nabucco.
Education is one of the four pillars that help define the Residentie Orkest’s ambitions. Every year, the orchestra has more than 40,000 contacts with children, young people, adults and amateur musicians who participate in educational projects that make the Residentie Orkest the driving force behind music education in The Hague. The orchestra has developed an education programme for all ages, thereby contributing to social cohesion in the city. For instance, The Residents City Orchestra actively gives children from disadvantaged neighbourhoods an opportunity to learn how to play music.
The Residentie Orkest is the initiator of SYMPHONY 2030. This project accommodates music and social activities in The Hague neighbourhoods around themes such as inclusion, well-being, education and creating a liveable, sustainable city. SYMPHONY 2030 is based on the United Nations’ ambition to make the world a better place by 2030 through 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With dozens of partners in The Hague and using music as the driving force, the Residentie Orkest is attracting and involving more and more people who are committed to improving the city. Together, we are making The Hague more beautiful!
The Residentie Orkest and the Royal Conservatoire The Hague have joined forces in nurturing talent and developing the careers of orchestra members. Both institutions work together to boost the career prospects of the next generation of musicians and music teachers and to secure the future of the professional symphony orchestra. This type of far-reaching collaboration between conservatory and orchestra is unique in the Netherlands. The Residentie Orkest also collaborates with the Dutch National Opera Academy, the Conservatory of Amsterdam and the Donemus Academy, and cooperates with the National Oscar Back Violin Competition, the Princess Christina Competition, the Gaudeamus Composers Award, the Cadaques Conductors Competition and the Royal Concertgebouw Young Talent Gala.
A rich history
Since its first concert in 1904, the Residentie Orkest has developed into one of the most prominent symphony orchestras in the Netherlands. Founded by Dr Henri Viotta, who was also its first chief conductor, it soon attracted composers like Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Max Reger, Maurice Ravel, Paul Hindemith and Vincent d’Indy. Guest conductors have included Arturo Toscanini, George Szell, Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein and Hans Knappertsbusch. After World War II, Willem van Otterloo was appointed chief conductor. He led the orchestra from 1949 to 1973 and built a strong reputation by combining high-quality performances with adventurous programming. Van Otterloo was succeeded by Jean Martinon, Ferdinand Leitner, Hans Vonk, Evgenii Svetlanov, Jaap van Zweden and Neeme Järvi.
The orchestra has built up a rich discography with labels such as BIS, Chandos, Challenge and DGG. The Residentie Orkest can also be heard frequently in many major concert halls across the world. Its various tours have included New York, Boston, Chicago, London and Vienna and the orchestra has also performed in Japan, China, Germany, France and South America.
Nicholas Collon is currently chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Residentie Orkest. From summer 2021, Anja Bihlmaier will become the new chief conductor. Richard Egarr will remain principal guest conductor and Jun Märkl has been appointed as principal guest conductor.