Residentie Orkest “New Year’s Concert” – Kari Postma, soprano; Kareem Abdulla, conductor.
Text and pictures by Catherine Dailey.
The Zuiderstand Theater, overlooking the Scheveningen harbor, was filled with anticipation for the Residentie’s Orkest’s long awaited “New Year’s Concert” in honor of the orchestra’s Business Circle and loyal patrons.
Of the years, the New Year’s concert has become the “place to be” for classical music enthusiasts. The feeling of a “homecoming gathering” permeated the pre-concert cocktail reception as many of the invitees, well known in the The Hague’s business, professional and political circles, were clearly known to each other from other relationships in the community.
The CEO and Artistic Director, Mr. Sven Arne Tepl, welcomed his guests with a toast of “bubbly” and invited everyone assembled to enjoy “Oliebollen”, a Dutch fried sweet dough filled with currents, which is traditionally served throughout the country during both “Old and New Year” celebrations.
Kazem Abdullah, a youthful American conductor who currently resides in Nurnberg, Germany, lead the orchestra as “gast dirigent” (guest conductor) for his riveting “In a New Light” concert. Abdullah, dubbed the “Rockstar of the Composing world” by the Daily Beast, opened with “Ouverture West Side Story” (1957) by the American composer, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Within moments, he captured the full attention of the audience.
The program continued with a selection of show-tune favorites combined with European pieces by Emmerich Kalman (1882-1953), Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825-1899) and Rudolf Sieczynski (1879-1952). Pieces by composers George Gershwin (1898-1937) and Harold Arlen (1905-1986) were also performed.
Compositions by Gershwin comprised half of the pieces selected for the evening’s concert. The audience was delighted and responded enthusiastically to both Abdullah’s and the orchestra’s lively performance with an extended applause at the conclusion of the first half of the concert.
Kari Postma, an award winning Norwegian soprano, delighted the audience as well. Hermine Deurloo, the world famous chromatic jazz harmonic player from Amsterdam, also joined the orchestra for the lively New Year’s concert.
Ab Nieuwdorp, the Dutch radio personality, from the “De Klassieken” heard weekdays from 9am-12pm, clearly enjoyed his role as the presenter for the evening, as did the members of the orchestra’s Business Circle.
The Residentie Orkest is an integral part of the municipality’s cultural life and is often the first introduction to a performance of classical music for the region’s youth. Thus, the orchestra relies upon patronage from the Business Circle and other members of the community to continue to improve the orchestra and to introduce gifted young people to the world of music.
This year, following a second standing ovation from the audience, Renta Brabander, Chairman of the Board of the Rabobank in The Hague, presented a check, in the amount of Euro 10,000 earmarked for “The Residents” to Sven Arne Tepl.
The funds will be used to support the youth orchestra training program which was created to teach area youth to play a symphony instrument for an introductory period of three years. The program has been well received and relies largely upon donations for continued success.
For donations to “The Resident” of EURO 1,000 or more, supporters are invited to join the “Viotta Kring.” More information about supporting the Residentie Orkest can be found here.
The orchestra’s currently performs in three venues. Visit the website for more information for the Residentie Orkest’s 2020 agenda.