A disaster for the Dutch

A disaster for the Dutch


norman lebrecht

June 12, 2011

The rightwing Dutch Cabinet has overruled a commissioned report from its arts council and decided to go ahead with hard-nosed cuts to the culture budget.

The overall reduction will be in the order of 25 percent – compared to 15 in the UK – and, contrary to Britain, there will be closures.

Among those facing the chop are the Dutch Music Information Centre and the Theatre Institute, both of which act as essential archives for their art forms.

BlackTulipThere is a proposal on the table to merge the Rotterdam Philharmonic (cond. Nezet-Seguin) with the Residentie of the Hague (Neeme Jaervi).

The worldclass Holland Festival will lose one-fifth ot its budget. No wonder its director is leaving for Australia. Others will surely follow.

This season’s tulips are uniformly black.

Here’s a brief English summary.


  • Nicolas Mansfield says:

    The facts are worse than here described. It’s a total cut of more than 50%. I am at present Artistic Administrator at the Nationale Reisopera (national Touring Opera). We have cuts of 60% and will close the company.

  • Regarding the orchestras there is at present no merger whatsoever on the table, only a clear sign that provincial orchestras are likely to face the need to merge or work very closely together in case they fail to secure sufficient additional funding from city or region.

    For Residentie Orkest The Hague and Rotterdam Philharmonic the local funding from their respective cities is historically at such a level that they will probably be able to continue independently despite a cut in their national subsidy.