Festival Focus

Holland Festival

While throughout the year the plush is reserved for the opera, theatre and classical music crowd, during the month of June the seats are taken by those in search of innovation and surprise. Expect new forms of music theatre bringing together the finest performers, composers, choreographers and contemporary artists.


Christian Marclay, 19 June, EYE and 20 June, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ

In his awkward but virtuoso take on turntablism artist Christian Marclay scratched records pasted together from actual shards of broken vinyl. That was in the ’80s. At the 2011 Venice Biennale he baffled everyone with his 24-hour video installation The Clock, built from countless film scenes with actual clocks. In his performance Everyday at this year’s Holland Festival he mixes hundreds of film fragments live on stage into a visual score for four musical improvisers. In another concert, called The Bell and The Glass & Shuffle & Screen Play, two of his earlier ‘video scores’ will be put to the test by ensemble MAZE, who will also perform Shuffle, Marclay’s musical score in the form of a card game.


Brooklyn to Berlin ft. Lee Ranaldo, 14 June, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ

And now for something completely different from Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, known for doing harmonic wonders to guitars by shoving screwdrivers between their strings or by dangling them from wires. The classical string players of Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop will adapt his new composition, performing it alongside 18th-century music and 21st-century video art.




The Pyre, 14 and 15 June, Frascati

In her dark sceneries French-Austrian theatre director Gisèle Vienne subverts our ideas of good and bad. The Pyre is like a hall of mirrors in which a female dancer and a boy try to escape the plot’s ominous twists. The droning soundscape will be performed live by KTL featuring Peter Rehberg (Pita) and Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))).


Hildur Gudnadóttir, 05 June, Bimhuis

The Icelandic cellist who came to prominence with indie band múm now presents her hypnotic, immersive solo performance, in which she combines cello, voice and electronics with customised wooden sound sculptures.



 L.A. Dance Project, 02 and 03 June, Stadsschouwburg

The renowned dance company will perform new work by Benjamin Millepied, choreographer of Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning steps in ballet horror flick Black Swan – and now her husband – plus radical works by Merce Cunningham and William Forsyth.