Residentie Orkest The Hague
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 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, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and Puccini’s La Bohème andMadama Butterfly.
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 as 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. The orchestra has built up a rich discography with labels such as BIS, Chandos, Challenge and DGG.
Starting season 2018/2019 Nicholas Collon is chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Residentie Orkest. Richard Egarr will join the orchestra as principal guest conductor in 2019. Until the summer of 2019 Jan Willem de Vriend will act as principal conductor.
Jan Willem de Vriend conductor
In 2015 Jan Willem de Vriend was appointed as principal conductor of Residentie Orkest The Hague and principal guest conductor of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya. From 2017 he is also principal guest conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille.
Between 1982 and 2015 De Vriend was artistic director and violinist of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, established by himself. This ensemble excelled in known but especially unknown masterpieces of the 17th and 18th century belonging to the forefront of Dutch classical music. It achieved a huge success abroad as well; starting with their own series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, it toured around the world.
Also to be mentioned are the opera productions the ensemble accomplished, based on works by Monteverdi, Handel, Telemann, Bach, Gassmann and Mozart among others. With these operas, directed by the much-acclaimed Eva Buchmann, the ensemble toured through Europe and America.
A great number of CDs, DVDs and tv-recordings exist to document this very productive and intense period. De Vriend continues his career as full-time conductor and as charismatic promotor of classical music. With the Residentie Orkest he has recorded i.a. ‘Ein deutsches Requiem’ by Brahms and he will record all Schubert symphonies as well as Mendelssohns concertos for two pianos.
From 2006 up to 2017 Jan Willem de Vriend was chief conductor of the Orkest van het Oosten in Enschede, formerly known as the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Right at the start of his appointment in 2006 he attracted attention with a striking performance of Mahler’s first symphony, in the first, so-called ‘Hamburger version’. The rave reception (‘Absolutely a must’ – The Gramophone) resulted in invitations by the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest as well as many orchestras abroad.
As chief conductor in Enschede his lifelong fascination for and experience with opera was bearing fruit. In 2013 and 2014 the orchestra was invited to Sankt Moritz/Basel to perform respectively the Don Giovanni and La Gazetta by Rossini, both with stage directions by Eva Buchmann. In 2015 Don Giovanni was successfully performed six times in the Netherlands.
From 2008 up to 2013 Jan Willem de Vriend worked as a guest conductor at the philharmonie zuidnederland. Besides he conducted the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, NDR Orchester, Philharmanie Stuttgart, WDR Orchester, in Hong Kong, Luxemburg, Barcelona and the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest. He conducted operas in Swetzingen, Luzern, Straatsburg and Barcelona. For the near future concerts and recordings are scheduled, with the Orkest van het Oosten, Residentie Orkest, Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Orchestre National de Lille and the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest.
In 2012 Jan Willem de Vriend won the prestigious ‘Radio 4 Prize’ for his indefatigable promotion of classical music.