Meet…Philharmonie Zuidnederland

  • Hello Roxanne. Thank you for this interview! Let’s start with you and your role in Philharmonie Zuidnederland.
  • Hello! My name is Roxanne and I am from Maastricht. I lived and studied here and I am working for the orchestra for five years now. I really like the company as we are trying to be an orchestra of 21th century with developing new things.  I am working for two different departments: for marketing and for education. I really love the department of education as we play many concerts for children and schools. This gives you a lot of energy, when you see how the children respond to the music. For the marketing department, I work for projects which are not like the standard ones, but something new, either artistically or aimed to another audience.
  •  Can you tell us a little bit more about Philharmonie? The goals and the mission of the organization and some basic information?
  • The orchestra only exists for five years as it was a merger between two smaller orchestras. Since 2013, it is officially the Philharmonie Zuidnederland. We have one of the biggest orchestras in the Netherlands with 109 musicians and 35 staff members. We are playing in the province of Limburg, Brabant and Zeeland. As the CEO of the company is always saying, it is 25% of the complete surface of the Netherlands. So it is really quite big area. That means that the musicians should travel a lot: it is possible that one Friday they have a concert in Maastricht and on Saturday they have to be in Zeeland which is quite far. But at the same time it is nice as there are a lot of activities connected to the region. So we have, for example Carnaval concerts, but we also have open air events. A lot of them are attached to the city or the province. I think what the orchestra wants to achieve is to be an orchestra of 21th century. Not an orchestra only for people who can afford to go to the concerts, but an orchestra for everyone who lives in the South of the Netherlands. We want to offer concerts and other programs where a lot of people can feel comfortable with. Also a variety of different activities: the orchestra can be relevant for business events but at the same time for children or for students.
  • So, your audience is quite broad and everyone can participate?
  • Yes exactly, that’s what we try to achieve. But I think we still have way to go. We definitely do a lot of interesting things . If someone is really a fun of a big orchestra with Russian music, he/she can come to the Philharmonie. But if you really like to go to a concert in a different location, as last year’s ‘‘West Side Story” in Vrijthof, you will also find something that you will like, for sure.
  • And for you, which is your favorite project?
  • There are two things that firstly come up in my mind: first, it is the West Side Story because the orchestra was playing in the stage of Andre Rieu live. It was really nice to work on it and in the end they were 8000 visitors which is way more than we expected. If you are in charge of the marketing of the project, it is really cool to see all these people there. Another project that I really like is a collaboration with Double Trouble. They organize a lot of student parties and we worked together with one of their DJ’s. He made music together with the orchestra and we played in one of the Double Trouble events. It was very cool to combine electronic music with classical music.
  • Do you have any new projects coming this year?
  • This year, we will have an event on April which is going to be called Music and Food. I think it sounds already really good. We are not sure yet what it is going to be, but it will be in a different location. In Maastricht, it will be in Complex. There will be music and food and actors from Toneelgroep Maastricht. I am really looking forward for it, because it is also something completely different, the participants will see the orchestra in a completely different way, you can eat something while listening to music which is also really nice.
  • Where can someone find more information about the events?
  • Always in the website. I think it is the best place. Of course, we have brochures in the city and advertisements via flyers, but mostly via the website.
  • How can students participate in case they are interested in doing their internship within the organization?
  • At this moment, we do not have an open vacancy. But if someone applies for an internship, there is a big chance that it would be possible to do it with us. It can be in the marketing department or another department. We collaborate also with the University and the Conservatorium providing lectures and presentations about the orchestra. It really needs cultural entrepreneurship skills for working in the orchestra. So, it is not only open to people with Arts and Culture background. You also have to be interested in how orchestra is working as a business. It will be very nice with us to continue having these meetings and talks with students.
  • Do you have specific discount for students for your events?
  • Yes totally. We have student discount ticket. If you are younger than 30, you can buy a ticket for only 10 euros. It is not only for last minute concerts, you can also buy it already for an event that it is happening in a couple of months. You can buy it in the ticket desk of Theater aan het Vrijthof with just your ID. 
  • Which is your ambition and your dream as an employee of the Philharmonie?
  • What I would really like to achieve is to search for concerts that really fit a younger audience. But also come up with an identity that matches the target group, something that fits students of 21st. What I would also like to achieve is to organize another open air event with a DJ and the classical orchestra. It is a really nice combination, classical and electric music are alike and they can inspire each other, in my opinion.
  • That’s sound amazing indeed. Good luck and thank you again!
  • Thank you!


(pictures by Philharmonie Zuidnederland and Meet Maastricht)


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