TEXT: OUR EDITORIAL – PHOTO: VEERLE BASTIANSSEN
With the program Make yourself heard! the Netherlands Student Orchestra is advocating for more gender equality in classical music. This is not always self-evident for everyone. For example, women have long had a subordinated position within classical music. Orchestras, composers, soloists and conductors have been dominated by men for centuries. Take Alma and Gustav Mahler. When Gustav asked for Alma’s hand in marriage, he forbade her to compose anymore. According to him, there could only be one composer in the household. The Dutch Student Orchestra, in which women are in the majority, presents this theme with the program Make yourself heard! musically challenged. With work Ein Glück Ohne Ruh the orchestra does let Alma’s music be heard. The piece was composed especially for this tour by Sílvia Lanao Aregay (1995, Spain). Four songs by Alma are included in the work. Soprano Lilian Farahani will perform the music of Alma Mahler as a soloist. As a young woman, she can identify with the theme of the Dutch Student Orchestra: “I think that women nowadays should just take the stage. Without talking about it. We belong there and we are here.” In recent years, Lilian has sung on major Dutch stages with companies such as the National Opera and has worked with, among others, the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
This year the Dutch Student Orchestra is led by Frans-Aert Burghgraef. The newly appointed chief conductor of the Royal Military Band ‘Johan Willem Friso’ conducted the NSO once before in a series of COVID-proof concerts around Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen. After the break, the orchestra takes on the grandiose Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler. This symphony, which requires an orchestra of 90 musicians, is known as one of the most challenging in the symphonic repertoire.
NINE HOURS A DAY
The Netherlands Student Orchestra is a national project orchestra full of ambitious students who, in addition to their studies, are involved in classical music at a high level. To rehearse this ambitious program, the orchestra locks itself in the village of Someren in Brabant for the first ten days of February and rehearses for about nine hours a day. Following this intensive rehearsal period, the NSO will begin its concert series, which will take the orchestra to twelve cities in the Netherlands and Germany. The winter tour ends on February 25 in Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Make yourself heard! by the Dutch Student Orchestra conducted by Frans-Aert Burghgraef in collaboration with Lilian Farahani | Saturday February 10: Lambertus Church Someren; Monday February 12: Stadsgehoorzaal Leiden; Tuesday February 13: TivoliVredenburg Utrecht; Wednesday February 14: Philharmonie Essen (Germany); Friday February 16: Waldorfschule Münster (Germany); Sunday February 18: De Oosterpoort Groningen; Monday February 19: Muziekgebouw Eindhoven; Wednesday February 21: Music Center Enschede; Thursday February 22: Theater a/h Vrijthof Maastricht; Friday February 23: De Vereeniging Nijmegen; Saturday February 24: De Doelen Rotterdam; Sunday February 25: The Concertgebouw Amsterdam | Cards: www.nso.nl
In the photo: The Dutch Student Orchestra will play in twelve concert halls in the Netherlands and Germany next month.