Holland Festival 2010

International Performing Arts Festival Amsterdam

By Holland Festival

Artistic Director: Pierre Audi

Amal Maher. A tribute to Oum Kalthoum (2010-06-01) by Amal MaherHolland Festival

Impression Holland Festival 2010

The 63rd Holland Festival opened with an impressive concert by Egyptian singer Amal Maher, a tribute to her legendary compatriot Oum Kalthoum. The sell-out concert at Carré attracted a culturally diverse audience and was also enjoyed by thousands of people who watched it live on a big screen in the Oosterpark. This performance was to set the standard for the 2010 edition of the festival, which reached new audiences with many of its performances. Another special project, in addition to the opening, was the Zaha Hadid Architects Pavilion in the Gashouder at the Westerpark, designed as a ‘salon’ for Bach’s chamber music. The Holland Festival also used it to stage contemporary music, and to hold lectures on Hadid’s work in combination with architectural tours. Like Varèse 360° in 2009, the pavilion was one of the projects in 2010 that helped the Holland Festival to further strengthen its role as an international (co)producer. The dance opera Pygmalion with Les Arts Florissants and the Trisha Brown Dance Company had its world premiere in Amsterdam. This international coproduction subsequently travelled to Aix-en-Provence and Athens, and will be visiting Madrid in 2012.


The music programme featured contemporary music as well as folk, Arab music, Greek love songs, jazz and Danish post-pop. Unique to this year’s festival was the focus on baroque and classical music, which fitted the programme theme for 2010, In Flux, which poses the question whether we can still find room for and meaning in classical beauty in the 21st century. The international revaluation of baroque composer Francesco Conti would answer the question in the affirmative. Conti’s Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena was performed at the Holland Festival by De Nederlandse Opera. Contemporary counterparts were A Dog’s Heart and Curlew River, which received praise from the audience and the press alike. The dance programme included a selection of choreographers who were a major influence on contemporary dance at the end of the 20th century: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, William Forsythe, Trisha Brown and Merce Cunningham, the latter now seen through the eyes of a new generation. The varied theatre programme extended from Sam Mendes’ Shakespeare and Peter Stein’s I Demoni to the topical work of Elfriede Jelinek in Rechnitz (Der Würgeengel) and documentary theatre in Radio Muezzin.


As well as the established audience, the festival managed to attract many new visitors . The opening performance as well as Le Trio Joubran and Radio Muezzin were enjoyed by many Dutch citizens with an Arab background. Shukshin’s Stories proved very popular with Russian and Latvian theatre-goers; and many English speaking visitors flocked to the Stadsschouwburg to see The Bridge Project. The festival also managed to engage the younger generation with the likes of 50 years of dance, Cédric Andrieux, Laborintus 11 with Mike Patton, and Performing Parades by Efterklang and Metropole Orchestra.

These new audiences were reached by actively engaging new communication partners and making use of social media. Not only did the audience discuss the concerts and performances in the foyers of the theatres, but also by using social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and numerous blogs. The festival also received a great deal of coverage from radio and television. Together, NPS and VPRO presented six television broadcasts and covered 34 concerts for radio and internet. Among the VPRO audience’s favourites were A Tribute to Oum Kalthoum, I Demoni and the Bach solo concerts in the Zaha Hadid Architects Pavilion.


The Holland Festival is aware that wide ranging support is necessary to guarantee the continuity of a festival of this stature. Attracting new audiences, extending our network of international partners and establishing a Board of Governors – a unique concept in The Netherlands – have all contributed to achieve this. Together with them and with you we confidently look forward to the next edition of the Holland Festival. In 2011, we intend to treat you again to the kind of exceptional performances that make the Holland Festival unique.

3Abschied (2010-02-16) by Anne Teresa De KeersmaekerHolland Festival

by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

De Keersmaeker brought the hushed atmosphere of Mahler’s Der Abschied on stage with Jérôme Bel.

Shukshin's Stories (2008-11-22) by Theatre of NationsHolland Festival

Shukshin's Stories
by Theatre of Nations

A sparkling, modern rendition of Shukshin’s prototypically Russian stories.

I Demoni (2009-05-23) by Peter SteinHolland Festival

I Demoni
by Peter Stein

The Demons by Dostojevsky is an epic production by Peter Stein.

Pygmalion (2010-06-13) by William Christie and Trisha BrownHolland Festival

by William Christie and Trisha Brown

A new interpretation of one of the crown jewels of French baroque music.

The Corridor (2009-06-12) by Asko|Schönberg, Sir Harrison BirtwistleHolland Festival

The Corridor
by Harrison Birtwistle, Asko|Schönberg

Unfulfilled desire and heartrending sorrow by Harrison Birtwistle.

Calliope Tsoupaki’s Greek Love Songs (2010-06-14) by Calliope TsoupakiHolland Festival

Greek Love Songs

Greek love songs from Calliope Tsoupaki and the love poems of the Greek poet Konstantínos Kaváfis. Performed in the Zaha Hadid Architects pavilion at the Westergasfabriek.

Viktoria Mullova plays Bachs Sonatas en Partitas (2010-06-12) by Viktoria MullovaHolland Festival

Viktoria Mullova

The virtuoso Viktoria Mullova played Bach with new élan.

50 years of dance (2009-12-07) by Boris CharmatzHolland Festival

50 years of dance
by Boris Charmatz

A journey through the oeuvre of the Godfather of postmodern dance, Merce Cunningham.

Performing Parades (2008-09-26) by EfterklangHolland Festival

Performing Parades
by Efterklang

Enchanting music of Danish post-pop formation arranged for the Metropole Orchestra.

Credits: Story

Artistic director Holland Festival 2005 - 2014:
Pierre Audi

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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