Founded in 1959, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble comprises woodwind, horns and percussion musicians from all the major Dutch symphony orchestras.
The Netherlands Wind Ensemble’s twenty or so members (winds, horns, percussion and double bass) meet up around eighty times per year to perform special programmes both in the Netherlands and abroad. The ensemble is famous for its high level of performance and its unique and adventurous programming playing music of all times, genres and cultural backgrounds, as long as it stimulates the senses and stirs up the imagination. On stage, the ensemble is known for its tireless energy and mischievous sense of fun.
Their educational programme reaches from introducing children to music and collaborations with local amateur music societies to coaching promising young talent at the highest level.
Since 1972, the ensemble has presented a popular annual New Year concert in the Concertgebouw, which has been televised since 1995.
The Netherlands Wind Ensemble has recorded CDs for two major international labels: Philips and Britain’s Chandos. In November 1999, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble started its own record label, NBELIVE, which releases two or three live recordings of special projects per year “for those who were there…and those who wished they had been.”
In recent years, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble has created and performed a substantial number of original programmes focusing on a particular composer or soloist. In addition, the ensemble regularly stages programmes like ‘Mail from Mozart’, which alternates the seven parts of Mozart’s ‘Gran Partita’ with readings from his letters to his father. ‘Schumann’s Diary’ is another example, telling the story of Schumann’s deteriorating mental health through passages from his diary and new interpretations of his piano works.
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