75 years of Friends
Especially for the 75th anniversary of the Association of Friends of the Residentie Orkest we made a magazine, as you have come to expect from us. See below what 75 years of Friendship has looked like over the centuries.
After the formation of the Society of Friends in December 1945, with Mayor De Monchy as honorary president, support went mainly to the orchestra members themselves. Think of supplements to salary and pension, but the musicians were also helped with coffee money and packed lunches. One of the first photos after World War II shows the Residentie Orkest under chief conductor Frits Schuurman in the Building for Arts and Sciences (1947).
Starting in the late 1960s, the Friends focused more and more on supporting especially special events. Such as the successful record project "400 years of Dutch music" in the 1970s with over 24,000 albums sold. Princess Beatrix received a box at an anniversary concert in 1979.
The many, often costly tours could also be realized through a contribution from the Friends. Even when there were some orchestra members who dared not fly - like violinist Louis Sons on the first tour of the United States in 1963 - the Friends paid the extra cost of the boat crossing. Later, orchestra members' contracts would include the requirement to fly if the service required it. Incidentally, under the guise of "going with the music," many Friends would also accompany the orchestra on tours.
After years of roaming the inner city of The Hague, the opening of the Dr. Anton Philipszaal in 1987, largely co-financed by the Friends, allowed a new era to begin for the Residentie Orkest.
The Friends also offered financial support to attract Evgenii Svetlanov as chief conductor in the 1990s. In this photo, some wind players from the Residentie Orkest serenade the just-landed maestro (Feb. 14, 1993).
An idea born out of love for music by a board member of the Friends culminated in the famous amateur days. For years, hundreds of amateur musicians played together with members of the Residentie Orkest.
The sound material was not forgotten by the Friends either. Over the years, contributions were made to various musical instruments, such as the expansion of the percussion instruments, the Steinway concert grand piano at the orchestra's centennial in 2004 and - more recently - the special set of timpani in 2015 and the five new horns in 2018.
Starting in fall 2021, Residentie Orkest will once again be in the heart of the city. The new building Amare will be The Hague's cultural living room. A place for the Friends to meet and enjoy music, dance and theater together.