The other side

As is often the case when one is interested in all the diverse aspects of our profession, one automatically becomes involved in advising, programming, planning, organising, researching and producing. Since my university days I have been trying to broaden my horizon with all these fascinating aspects. However, when I first entered the music profession my days were naturally dedicated to performing and travelling and being recorded by others.

Following a very intense performing career spanning many years, I currently divide my time between teaching and playing on the one side and managing and advising on the other. From the other side, it is crucial to have an understanding of what our performing profession is about and how it feels to sit on stage, to know how incredibly demanding music-making is and how difficult it is for musicians to contribute our individual expertise and still fit into the collective of an ensemble or orchestra.

As a recording producer I am fortunate to work for some wonderful artists and labels, advising from within the studio and spending those long nights of searching for the ideal recorded take that displays technical perfection but is still spontaneous and alive.

By coincidence I also entered into the world of orchestral management some years ago. After three years of work as Artistic Director of Holland Symfonia I have been working for five years as Director of Artistic Affairs & Programming of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Amsterdam. It has been a challenging job trying to walk the fine line between helping to run an organisation and still protecting artistic freedom and creativity, being willing to re-invent oneself from scratch every single day. The large collective of a Wagnerian orchestra and the small, versatile chamber orchestra are both perfect case studies in psychology in themselves. It was wonderful to be in the midst of it all, helping to shape and further develop these two highly respected orchestras. Between 2013 and 2016 I had the great privilege to work as Associate Director and Head of the Classical and Music in Education Departments of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Since 2016 I'm back in the orchestra world, acting as Artistic Director of the Residentie Orkest/The Hague Philharmonic.

Advising different organisations as a member of their board or being a member of a jury or commission are other time-consuming favourites of mine. As a result of combining all these activities, I have the privilege of having gained a great overview of Dutch musical life and, to a considerable extent, the international music world. Linking the entire line together, from youth organisations and competitions, music academies and the Dutch Music Award to the ensembles and orchestras at the top of this pyramid provides me with a fantastic network of arts professionals, such as colleague professors, researchers, musicologists, publishers, instrument makers, performers, soloists and arts managers worldwide.