Concertgebouw: ‘By 2016, Holland may no longer have an international orchestra’

Concertgebouw: ‘By 2016, Holland may no longer have an international orchestra’


norman lebrecht

September 02, 2014

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has sounded a solemn note in its annual report, warning the Dutch government that it will lose a world-class asset if it does not increase state subsidy.

‘Our position is still strong but it is weakening fast,’ said David Bazen, the orch’s commercial director.

Despite artistic success at home and on tour, the Concertgebouw ran up an annual deficit of 836,461 Euros.

Bazen warned that there are few opportunities to increase income. Ticket prices are already among the highest in the sector and new sponsors are being actively deterred by a sense of financial crisis. The music director, Mariss Jansons recently announced his departure.

‘In two years’ time, Holland may no longer have an international orchestra,’ warned chief executive Jan Raes.

jansons concertgebouw




  • John Borstlap says:

    One wonders how much of the problem is the result of bad leadership: the management of the orchestra is notoriously clumsy, combining arrogance with ignorance, as the recent quarrel with their éminence grise Haitink, and the débacle with commissioning Andriessen, has shown. It’s like a wonderful ship with excellent crew, led by captain and his officers too incompetent to cope with what is their responsibility.

    Of course there won’t be extra subsidies for the orchestra, since Holland – where finally its populist primitive instincts have been endorsed by politics and a broad media consensus – is steering away from any feeling of cultural identity and responsibility towards art in general. A look into the subsidy system for new art proves the point: only immature nonsense is considered worth to be paid for by the community, so a world top orchestra dedicated to ‘old art’ is not merely irrelevant, but represents a ‘bastion of bourgeois bad taste’ which many people think has to be broken-down. The Concertgebouw Orchestra no longer represents something like culture in the Netherlands, but a fossile from a by-gone age, when suppressing elites exploited the proletariat, excluding it from their own luxury entertainment. Combine this with a clumsy and incompetent orchestra management and you will quite understand why Janssons thought it wise to leave the ship in time.

  • Elvira Silverman says:

    This is bad bad bad news. The country can’t afford a million dollar to support and maintain one of the most glorious institution ?
    Free needles for addicts …for that purpose
    is for sure a fat budget available .