Journalist Joep Stapel wrote a long article about the position of composer in The Netherlands. He had conversations with Klas Torstensson, Joey Roukens, Esther Gottschalk, Aspasia Nasopoulou and Karmit Fadel. The title of the article is 'The composer is alive, feels fear and celebrates.'
Here is the conversation Joep Stapel had with Davo van Peursen, director of Donemus Publishing:
There is too little money in the sector," concludes Davo van Peursen (58), director of Donemus, one of the largest music publishers in the Netherlands. "For most composers, commissions are the primary source of income. Subsidy applications go through the ensembles and orchestras, and the Performing Arts Fund pays out the money. But the pool is thin: many applications are rejected, which is a problem.
As a guideline for subsidy applications, Nieuw Geneco and the music publisher branch (NMUV/VMN) use an 'honorarium table' with minimum payments. Van Peursen says that this is generally well adhered to, as are Fair Practice-Code compositions. "We sit down with Buma/Stemra almost every week to defend the rights of our composers. Wel zien we dat componisten regelmatig onder druk worden gezet om af te zien van uitvoeringsrechten bij muziektheatrale werken.”
After corona, the concert calendar is full again, but it's not all hosanna: "Ensembles have discontinued, performance opportunities are more limited. The ample attention for young composers is fantastic, but there are also composers with great oeuvres who one can hardly hear at all."
Donemus, on the other hand, is doing very well. In 2013, the government pulled the plug on Muziek Centrum Nederland, of which Donemus was a part. Donemus made a new start in a very slimmed-down form as an unsubsidised foundation alongside an active company. "We have been able to turn the corner to a businesslike organisation, with a commercial outlook as well. Thanks to a great network, we reach many people, but financially it is tight. We could do much more to bring new music to people's attention."