Esa-Pekka Salonen is the first conductor to sign onto a scheme to shame the Dutch goverment into softening its culture cuts. Salonen and the Philharmonia orchestra yesterday recorded a segment of a Dutch resistance anthem that will be blared out in The Hague while Parliament is debating the cuts. You can see the recording here on Youtube, with Salonen’s appeal to the Dutch.
Another section has been recorded by the WD orchestra in Cologne. So who’s going to be next next?
Here’s the plan, described by Gijs Kramers, artistic director of the Ricciotti ensemble, Amsterdam.
The Dutch deputy minister of culture, Halbe Zijlstra, has announced devastating cuts for the arts in the Netherlands. Overall, the cuts are as much as 30% of the budget, about 200 million euros, leaving 700 to go round in 2013. Among the many victims will be 4 of the current 12 professional orchestras as well as the majority of the institutions that currently generate and develop talent. If this goes ahead, a major part of our cultural heritage will get demolished and will have no chance to ever be rebuilt. As the cuts are announced to take place as early as 2013, none of the institutions will have time to anticipate on this.
At the moment there is a lot of opposition in Holland, there are plenty of protests and petitions but it would be good if there could also be some support from abroad.
I therefore propose an action called “Soldier of Orange for the orchestras of the Netherlands”.
As many orchestras as possible will play and record on film a one minute passage from the film score of Soldier of Orange, a 1977 film about the Dutch resistance in the Second World War. The tune is very famous in the Netherlands and can be said to stand for our national identity.
The recording could be made during a rehearsal, conducted by whoever is leading the orchestra in that period and could be accompanied by any short commentary. As the fragment is only one minute long and very easy to play this should only take a maximum of 5 minutes. The clip will then be spread widely via our network of institutions currently dealing with the protests against the cuts. It would be ideal if the recording could be made as soon as possible, as the debate about this matter will take place in the Hague on Monday June 27th, 2011.
The music (scores and parts) is obtainable in pdf format and can be sent out straight away. I very much hope there will be a massive response, so we can show the Dutch government that everywhere people involved in the cultural sector show their disapproval of what is going on in Holland, which is a development that hopefully will never occur anywhere else in the world.