400 Cultural institutions dream to fill the theaters again

Starting today, the cultural sector joins forces behind ‘The Promise’, after Jan Beuving’s column. What began as a hopeful text written especially for one theatre was quickly embraced by the entire cultural sector, growing into a poetic statement that is being distributed sector-wide…   

When theatres and concert halls are allowed to reopen, culture will flourish there all the more fiercely. On Thursday, January 28, a campaign is starting in which the hard-hit performing arts sector will show its resilience. The message: in spite of everything, the empty halls of today hold a magnificent promise.

Simone Kleinsma, Jaap van Zweden, Hans van Manen and many other leading contributors to performing arts are joining forces to spread a message of hope in these difficult times. In a short video, they are letting the public know that artists are eager to get back on stage as soon as they can. Beauty, comfort, emotion, laughter: just a little more patience, till we can immerse ourselves in them again.

The video campaign De Belofte comes at a time when the venues have been closed for over a month. They were also closed last year from mid-March to June, and after that, only a very thinned-out public was allowed in. In September, there was a brief revival with more than a hundred premieres. But because of requirements related to social distancing, the cultural season never really got going. Festivals fear for their survival. Many artists are now working in other fields, struggling to make ends meet.

In this video, a number of prominent artists, who together represent the breadth of disciplines and diversity of the entire sector, express Beuving’s hopes. The dance discipline is represented by Hans van Manen. Peter Pannekoek (cabaret), Soumaya Ahouaoui (theatre), Jaap van Zweden (music) and Simone Kleinsma (musical) can also be seen and heard. The video features dancer Uri Eugenio (LeineRoebana), as well as pianists Hannes Minnaar, Yang Yang Cai, Helena Basilova and Iris Hond, who play sections from Canto Ostinato by Simeon ten Holt on four grand pianos. Directed by Katja Akkerman.

More information about De Belofte

Petra Strahovnik wins Berlin Art Prize

On March 18th, 2021, the Slovenian-Dutch composer Petra Strahovnik will receive the prestigious Berlin Art Prize for Music. The format of this year’s awards ceremony on 18 March shall be announced at a later date…   

The writer and journalist Annett Gröschner is the winner of the Berlin Art Prize – Grand Prize 2021. The Akademie der Künste awards the prize, endowed with 15,000 euros in rotation among its six sections on behalf of the state of Berlin. 

In addition to the Berlin Art Prize – Grand Prize, the six Berlin Art Prizes, endowed with 5,000 euros each, will also be awarded on 18 March. These prizes go to the Indian concept artist Sajan Mani (Visual Arts Section), the architecture firm HARQUITECTES in Barcelona (Architecture Section), the Slovenian composer and musician Petra Strahovnik (Music Section), the German writer Lea Schneider (Literature Section), the Swiss actress Gina Haller (Performing Arts Section) and the German multimedia artist Susann Maria Hempel (Film and Media Arts Section). 

The Berlin Art Prize – Jubilee Foundation 1848/1948 was founded by the Berlin Senate in 1948 in memory of the March Revolution of 1848. It has been awarded by the Akademie der Künste on behalf of the State of Berlin since 1971. Recent winners of the Berlin Art Prize – Grand Prize include Younghi Pagh-Paan (2020), Renée Gailhoustet (2019) and Thomas Demand (2018). 

In 2019 Petra Strahovnik did win the International Rostrum Price for Composers for her work Prana.

Read more about the Berlin Art Prizes

Brendan Faegre: The Mad King Livestream

Tomorrow Opera2Day will do a one-time livestream of The Mad King, which Brendan Faegre worked on as composer, arranger, DIY instrument designer, and accidental voice actor. Directed by Stefano Simone Pintor and featuring baritone Wiebe Pier Cnossen / Charles Johnston and the New European Ensemble, this new production combines Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King with shocking arrangements of Handel and newly composed music…   

The work focuses on familiar themes: isolation, anxiety, disease, migration. And it presents the narrative of King George III (who lost his mind and tried to teach his bullfinches to sing) through an entirely contemporary lens. Despite the postponement of the premiere and tour, Faegre is unbelievably grateful that he could continue bringing this production to life over the past months, and that it can still be performed online. He would love to share this digital performance with his audience.

Read an article on (Google Translated to EN)


NMUV and VMN appoint Davo van Peursen as Director

Starting with January 2021, the publishers’ associations NMUV and VMN have appointed Davo van Peursen as Director. “With the appointment of Davo van Peursen, the representation of the interests of music publishers in the Netherlands will be continued by an NMUV/VMN director after the departure of Ad Heskes. Davo is an experienced and driven force with an excellent network to fulfill this important role” says Mark Bremer, chairman NMUV and Managing Director of Universal Music Publishing Benelux…   

Eveline van Kampen, new chairman of VMN: “Davo has been involved with the VMN for a long time and knows the playing field well. The VMN board is confident that he will further strengthen the ties with all those involved. This will continue and further expand the professionalisation of both associations.” 

Davo van Peursen: “Music publishers are an important part within the musical eco-system: they support authors in different phases of their career. To this end, publishers deploy their expertise in various fields on a daily basis, as links in the creative process. The COVID-19 crisis is currently having a strong impact. Because live performances from concerts to mega-acts have been halted for almost a year, the music sector is being hit hard. It is important that politicians understand that the sector is in danger of suffering irreparable damage, and that tomorrow’s authors will have fewer opportunities.” 

Van Peursen also indicates that in the coming period important topics are on the agenda, such as: national and European developments around copyright, increasing internationalisation and the relationship to tech companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Spotify. All this requires the attention of the industry and he will work towards this by strengthening the international and national contacts, such as the ICMP.

“I am looking forward to working for the NMUV and VMN members in all these areas,” says Van Peursen. He then points to the Netherlands, where Buma/Stemra is an important organisation for the sector. He intends to contribute to the right choices for the future with a constructive, but also critical view from the associations, the policy of Buma/Stemra having a major impact on the associations and therefore on all affiliated authors.

Davo van Peursen is also Managing Director of Donemus Publishing and Record Company. He is a member of the Board of Rightholders of Buma/Stemra and Chairman of the Alsbach Foundation (Music Publishing Course).