The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is based in Enschede, in the province of Overijssel. Performing at an international level, as evidenced by its highly acclaimed CDs and invitations for international tours, the orchestra is firmly rooted in society.
Jan Willem de Vriend has been its artistic director and chief conductor since 2006. Under De Vriend’s leadership, the orchestra has expanded its repertoire to cover music from four centuries. Its use of period instruments in the Classical repertoire gives the orchestra a distinctive and highly individual character.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra performs amongst others in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Enschede, Zwolle and Deventer. In addition, it often works with the Dutch National Touring Opera Company. In its home town Enschede, the orchestra builds on a symphonic tradition of more than 80 years, and it is known as one of the most modern and entrepreneurial orchestras in the Netherlands. Its international partners include the BBC Philharmonic and the Liszt School of Music Weimar.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra created a number of ensembles, such as a chamber orchestra, the Baroque Academy of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (BANSO) and various chamber music ensembles. The orchestra’s commitment to expanding its social relevance is also reflected in the large number of projects in which education is a key element.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra has made successful tours of the United States, Spain and England, and it has performed in such famous venues as Carnegie Hall in New York and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Its CDs of the complete Beethoven symphonies (for Challenge Classics) and music by Dutch composers such as Julius Röntgen and Jan van Gilse (for the CPO label) were very well received by the international music press.
The orchestra has worked with distinguished conductors, such as its former chief conductor Jaap van Zweden, Vasily Petrenko, Edo de Waart, Hans Vonk, Gerd Albrecht, Marc Soustrot, Eri Klas, Ed Spanjaard, Claus Peter Flor and Tan Dun.
It also has accompanied many celebrated soloists, including Gidon Kremer, Ronald Brautigam, Natalia Gutman, Charlotte Margiono, Antje Weithaas, Marie-Luise Neunecker, Hélène Grimaud, Robert Holl, Fazil Say, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Thomas Zehetmair.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is financially supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Province of Overijssel and the Municipality of Enschede, as well as annual contributions from sponsors.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (Dutch: "Nederlands Symfonieorkest") is a Dutch symphony orchestra. The home of the orchestra is the Muziekcentrum in Enschede. The orchestra was previously known in Dutch as Orkest van het Oosten (literal translation "Orchestra of the East"), but in October 2011 changed its Dutch name to align with the English name. At the same time the Dutch abbreviation "OvhO" was replaced with "NedSym."
Netherlands Symphony Orchestra performs about 75 concerts a year in Enschede, Hengelo, Zwolle and Deventer, as well as throughout the province of Overijssel and the Randstad. NedSym also serves as orchestra with the Nationale Reisopera for two productions a year and various provincial choirs.
The precursor ensemble to the Orkest van het Oosten was the Twents Kamerorkest (Twents Chamber Orchestra), an amateur ensemble which began performing in the 1930s under the direction of Klaas de Rook. In 1947, this orchestra changed its name to the Twents Philharmonisch Orkest (Twents Philharmonic Orchestra). In 1954, the orchestra became fully professional under the name of the Overijssels Philharmonisch Orkest (Overijssels Philharmonic Orchestra), incorporating musicians from the Twents Harpsichord Ensemble and the Twents Chamber Orchestra.
In 1983, the Overijssels Philharmonic Orchestra was merged with Opera Forum. The two orchestras were joined together as the Forum Philharmonic operating in two formations: one for accompanying the opera the other for symphonic concerts, and a few times a year both together for large scale productions. In 1994, the orchestra was seriously reduced and formed an independent ensemble under the name Orkest van het Oosten. At the same time, in 1994, the Nationale Reisopera was organised from Opera Forum, without an orchestra. The Orkest van het Oosten contracted to accompany two Nationale Reisopera productions a year.
Jaap van Zweden was chief conductor of the OvhO from 1996 to 2005. Since the 2006-2007 season, Jan Willem de Vriend has been chief conductor of the OvhO, with an initial contract of 3 years. Although there have been reports of controversy over his direction of the OvhO, his contract with the OvhO has been extended to 2012. In 2010 the "Orkest van het Oosten" was awarded with an Edison award.