In the autumn of 2020, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir. The jubilee of the broadcasting ensembles was celebrated in an adapted form due to coronation measures, but as festively as possible: with extra broadcasts on NPO Radio 4, a special edition of Podium Witteman, jubilee concerts and jubilee books of both ensembles.
NPO Radio 4 celebrates
The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir were founded shortly after the Second World War. From Monday 7 September '20, the choir and orchestra were in the spotlight for a whole week on NPO Radio 4, with concert recordings, interviews with musicians in the studio of NPO Radio 4 and special recordings from the historical archive.
In addition, five anniversary concerts took place on 11, 12 and 13 September, which were broadcast by AVROTROS on NPO Radio 4.
The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor were guests of Podium Witteman on Sunday 13 September. The live broadcast included the world premiere of Dai Fujikura's Midday Silence, performed by ensembles from the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor conducted by Karina Canellakis.
Besides the broadcasting ensembles, the 20-21 season had another jubilee: the NTR Saturday Matinee had its 60th season that year. The anniversary of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir was to be celebrated in the Matinee during the concert on 31 October with a brand new work by Wagemans, music by Beethoven and Ravel's Tzigane with star violinist Sergey Khachatyran. Due to the coronation measures, the programming of this concert has been completely changed and another time is being sought to celebrate the anniversary of the broadcasting ensembles in the Matinee.
The 75th anniversary of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir prompted us to invite two writers to express their views. Oswin Schneeweisz collected them in Stemgeluiden (Voice Sounds) for the Netherlands Radio Choir, Inge Jongerman in De kracht van bevlogen samenenspel (The Power of Inspired Collaboration ) for the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. The anniversary books were presented during the concerts on 11 September '20.
In 'The Power of Inspired Collaboration', Inge Jongerman sketches the 75-year-old Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, from the very first rehearsal on 26 June 1945 to the special projects in corona time in 2020. A journey along musicians, conductors, programmers of the NTR and AVROTROS, composers and others involved. With small portraits, interviews and memories of special concerts. An image of an orchestra that, in seventy-five turbulent years, developed from a studio ensemble into an internationally renowned orchestra that knows it is welcome on numerous major concert stages. In Jongerman's words: "I have come to know the RFO as a passionate orchestra, which in seventy-five turbulent years has managed to make itself indispensable to countless music lovers. An ensemble of talented musicians who have weathered many storms and have always been able to draw strength from their inspired playing together.
Voices' describes the history of the Groot Omroepkoor, the largest professional symphonic choir in the Netherlands. With a historical overview, extensive attention for all conductors and the many milestones in the choir's 75-year history. Naturally, (former) choir members, conductors and directors will have their say, and there is a lot of attention for the repertoire and the many pieces written for the choir. Oswin Schneeweisz has forged all this into an enjoyable book that should not be missing from the cupboard of any true choir enthusiast.