High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

The Melody Makers. Contemporary Music in the Netherlands
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The Melody Makers. Contemporary Music in the Netherlands

(Johan Kolsteeg) The Low Countries - 1995, № 3, pp. 133-137

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The history of today's contemporary music in the Netherlands has its roots in the sixties, that turbulent decade which disposed of so many outdated standards and values. This fresh start was not unique to the Netherlands, nor to the world of music; but the way in which the up-and-coming generation of composers changed the Dutch musical scene once and for all was un paralleled in Europe. Not only was there a fierce debate as to the significance of contemporary music in society and concert programming, but organisations and ensembles were created to promote and play new music and to bring about a change of mentality in existing institutions. The young are reaping the benefits of what was achieved in the sixties, not only as regards increased freedom of musical content, but also the comprehensive infrastructure, on which the Dutch musical world has come to rest. There is something brewing in contemporary music in the Netherlands and there always will be. The diversity of styles and characters guarantees the dynamic situation and ongoing debate that are essential to the vitality of modern music as a living art form.

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