Residentie Orkest The Hague proves that even in the 21st century, symphonic music can still be meaningful to large and diverse audiences. Its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in Europe makes it an appropriate figurehead for The Hague as a cosmopolitan city of justice, peace, and culture. The orchestra performs concert series in the Zuiderstrandtheater in Scheveningen and in addition performs at venues such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, TivoliVredenburg Utrecht and De Doelen in Rotterdam. Special crossover and innovative productions are also provided at The Hague’s prominent pop venue Paard van Troje throughout the season. The Residentie Orkest performs regularly at various other major concert halls abroad. Tours have brought the orchestra to New York, Boston, Chicago, London and Vienna amongst others and the orchestra also performed in countries like Japan, China, Germany, France and South America. There are also many prolific collaborations with a wide range of partners, including the Dutch National Theatre, Gemeentemuseum and the Dutch National Opera. Recent seasons have seen a much acclaimed production of Messiaen’s rarely performed opera Saint François d’Asisse and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites.
A rich history
Since its first concert in 1904, the Residentie Orkest has developed into one of the prominent symphony orchestras of The Netherlands. Founded by Dr Henri Viotta, who was also its first principal conductor, it quickly attracted composers like Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Max Reger, Maurice Ravel, Paul Hindemith and Vincent d’Indy. Guest conductors included Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein and Hans Knappertsbusch.
After World War II, Willem van Otterloo was appointed chief conductor. He led the orchestra from 1949 to 1973 and built a strong reputation by combining high-quality performances with adventurous programming. Van Otterloo was succeeded by Jean Martinon, Ferdinand Leitner, Hans Vonk, Evgenii Svetlanov, Jaap van Zweden and Neeme Järvi.
Over the next few years, the Residentie Orkest will be working with two principal conductors: Jan Willem de Vriend and the young Englishman Nicholas Collon. Richard Egarr has been appointed principal guest conductor of the orchestra.