British boss for Dutch orchestraNews
The British trombonist and Pentatone record executive Kate Rockett is to be the new general director of Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century.
She succeeds Sieuwert Verster who is going in the opposite direction to work on his contemporary label, Attaca.
Kate says: ‘Since its founding over forty years ago by Frans Brüggen, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century has been a highly-respected key player in the historically-informed performance movement and has inspired many other ensembles, both in the Netherlands and worldwide. Sieuwert Verster has been at the helm for all this time; a quite exceptional track record and a difficult act to follow. The orchestra is a remarkable international collective of passionate and committed musicians; I am delighted to have the opportunity to shape the next chapter of the organisation’s history.’
Interestingly enough, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century never appointed a new music director after Brüggen’s death.
People who know this orchestra well will attest that this is because this has always been an incredibly democratic orchestra in which the instrumentalists have always had a huge (and equal) say. And also because Frans Brüggen was utterly irreplaceable. So since his death the players have invited whichever director they felt is apposite for each project.
Kate Rockett’s role will perhaps be as much as anything to marshal together the wealth of fine ideas that the players (many of whom have been with the orchestra for decades) bring to their almost uniquely democratic table – and then get out and sell the orchestra to presenters and concert halls (which Sieuwert did for some 40 years with consummate skill). Kate is a fine appointment.