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The Residentie Orkest is the orchestra of, for and from The Hague. It has firm links with the city and its inhabitants. It also plays a strong role in supporting The Hague’s wider profile as seat of government, home to the royal family and city of peace and justice as well as a centre of diplomacy, a first-rate place to live, a business hub and a city with a socially committed heart. The orchestra actively uses classical music to connect and stimulate all residents and visitors based on four pillars: symphonic, education, talent development and outreach. It aims to make a valuable contribution towards an inclusive, inspiring, collaborative and multi-faceted city.
The orchestra offers a top-quality musical experience with an adventurous profile and dynamic zeal. It challenges, surprises and provides enjoyment and always looks to approach its music in a fresh, contemporary and youthful way. From summer 2021 the orchestra is located in the new concert hall Amare in the centre of The Hague. The Residentie Orkest can also be heard frequently at locations such as the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht and De Doelen in Rotterdam. In addition, special crossover concerts and other innovative productions are performed in The Hague’s prominent pop venue Paard.
The Residentie Orkest is also part of many prolific collaborations with a wide range of partners, including Pieterskerk in Leiden, the Dutch National Theatre, Kunstmuseum Den Haag, NTR Saturday Matinee and the Dutch National Opera. In recent seasons, the orchestra has played in a highly acclaimed production of Messiaen’s rarely performed opera Saint François d’Asisse as well as in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Puccini’s La bohème and Madama Butterfly, Verdi’s Nabucco and the world premiere of Ritratto by Willem Jeths.
A rich history
Since its first concert in 1904, the Residentie Orkest has developed into one of the most prominent symphony orchestras in the Netherlands. Founded by Dr Henri Viotta, who was also its first chief conductor, it soon attracted composers like Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Max Reger, Maurice Ravel, Paul Hindemith and Vincent d’Indy. Guest conductors have included Arturo Toscanini, George Szell, Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein and Hans Knappertsbusch. After World War II, Willem van Otterloo was appointed chief conductor. He led the orchestra from 1949 to 1973 and built a strong reputation by combining high-quality performances with adventurous programming. Van Otterloo was succeeded by Jean Martinon, Ferdinand Leitner, Hans Vonk, Evgenii Svetlanov, Jaap van Zweden, Neeme Järvi and Nicholas Collon.
The orchestra has built up a rich discography with labels such as BIS, Chandos, Challenge and DGG. The Residentie Orkest can also be heard frequently in many major concert halls across the world. Its various tours have included New York, Boston, Chicago, London and Vienna and the orchestra has also performed in Japan, China, Germany, France and South America.
From summer 2021 Anja Bihlmaier is the new chief conductor of the Residentie Orkest. Richard Egarr will remain principal guest conductor and Jun Märkl has been appointed as principal guest conductor.