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Dutch National Student Orchestra in Ecstasy
The Dutch National Student Orchestra in Ecstasy!
The Dutch Student Orchestra (NSO) is a young and national project orchestra founded in 1952. Every year the orchestra is put together with talented students who are involved in classical music alongside their studies at a college or university. In February the selected students stop their studies for a month to fully devote themselves to the music: after an intensive rehearsal period, the orchestra goes on a large continuous international tour through the Netherlands and abroad. During the tour, the ten large Dutch concert stages and some foreign venues are traditionally visited. Every year the program consists of a combination of a challenging “main piece” and a collaboration with young Dutch soloists and composers who change every year under the baton of a renowned conductor.
Conductor: Manoj Kamps Soloist: Katharine Dain – Soprano Composer in residence: Rick van Veldhuizen
Richard Wagner – Vorspiel & Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde Rick van Veldhuizen – unde imber et ignes
Igor Stravinsky – Le Sacre du Printemps
The theme of NSO 2020 is “Ecstasy”. With the theme “Ecstasy”, parallels are drawn between the program and the atmosphere that is created in the concert experience, as well as the experience for students to play with the NSO. Students who have previously participated describe the NSO month as the time of their lives and a unique experience that they would not have wanted to miss. For a month they can retire into a “bubble” with a large group of peers who share the same passion, in which they park their daily, studying lives for a moment and nothing else is relevant but music. Playing along with the NSO gives musical development a powerful boost that the musicians can benefit from throughout their entire lives. In addition, the experience of studying a program at a very high level in such a short period of time and performing it night after night in the most beautiful concert halls in the Netherlands gives enormous pleasure, despite the enormous effort.
Within the program there are major diversities in music style, but at the same time there is a strong coherence between the pieces. Physicality, sensuality and primal power are central and the surrender to the inevitable is expressed, not only in highly romantic songs but also in exciting musical entanglements and primitive cacophonies. The orgasmic – and deadly – power of both Isolde’s love for Tristan and the earthly, carnal sacrifice made at the end of Le Sacre du Printemps are combined in Rick van Veldhuizen’s unde imber et ignes. The physical can be dark and violent, but it can also bring salvation and pleasure. The abstract atmosphere of the above as a whole has been an important aspect in the choice for the “Ecstasy” theme, because it does not so much frame something concrete, but rather creates a certain atmosphere.
The theme “Ecstasy” has meaning for everyone because every person has their own memory or association with this word. The theme is not only applicable to young people, as a reference to being young, the growing party culture and the need to break away from the increasing pressure of performance in daily life through ultimate pleasure. The theme can also evoke associations with memories, milestones, life events and other special experiences. Therefore the concerts will also undoubtedly be enriching experiences for the public.