Players in the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra turned up to work today to find their instruments under threat of seizure – on the order of the Netherlands Philharmonic.
The Symphony Orchestra, based in Enschede, used to be known as Orkest van het Oorsten (orchestra of the East). After its rebrand a couple of years back, lawyers for the Netherlands Philharmonic, based in Amsterdam, protested at the alleged similarity of names. The Symphony stood firm. So the NedPhil won a court order against them last month. This morning, they sent in the bailiffs to issue a threat to impound their instruments.
Erik Olsman, a bass player in the Symphony, has just gone online to raise the outcry. UPDATE: The NedPhil dispute this (below).
Have the NedPhil lost their marbles? Have they never been to London, where a dozen orchestras get along with very similar names? Have they nothing better to do on a Thursday morning?
Get a life, Netherlands Philharmonic. And back off. This is public money and patience you are wasting.
UPDATE: A conductor appeals for ‘the nonsense to stop’.
Further UPDATE: We have received the following communication from the managing director of the NedPhil:
There is absolutely no question of seizing instruments from the orchestra, nor of bailiffs doing so.
The two orchestras agreed some years ago that the Orkest van het Oosten could use the name Netherlands Symphony Orchestra when on tour abroad, but not in The Netherlands. Unfortunately the orchestra decided to no longer honor this agreement, not even after the courts pointed out their obligation to do so.
I wonder how it came that Mr. De Vriend (was it really him?) published wrong information in the Volkskant today.
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra /
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra