In a telephone explanation, however, chairman Ad ‘s-Gravesande keeps the possibility of a restart open. ‘We hope that elsewhere in the Netherlands there will be interest in the Orlando Festival, whether or not according to the same formula.’ This spring, the festival fell by the wayside in a Limburg subsidy round. Cultuurtank Limburg, an advisory body for the province, found the activities eligible for subsidy, but had too little budget to honor all positive applications. The Orlando Festival fell ‘below the cutting line’. With a contribution of more than 100 thousand euros per year, the province is by far the largest subsidizer.
The Orlando Festival was founded in 1982 by Stefan Metz, cellist of the Orlando Quartet. Since 2014 Henk Guittart, former violist of the Schönberg Quartet, has been the artistic director. Under him, the festival paid a lot of attention to forgotten or neglected composers, often of Dutch origin. In 2019, for example, there was a retrospective on Hans Kox (1930-2019). There was also a coaching program for young international professionals, with attention to stage presence and the psychological aspects of the profession.
Earlier, in 2020, the festival threatened to miss out on provincial funding. Cultuurtank Limburg then gave a negative advice. The Orlando Festival should do more in attracting audiences and the business operations did not inspire much confidence. After a counter-expertise by the Berenschot consultancy, the Provincial Council voted in favor of a two-year project subsidy. Chairman ‘s-Gravesande: ‘Culture tank’s assessment follows a wonderful point system. You can get more points for subjects such as business management, marketing and communication than for your artistic role and value.’
The Orlando Festival has already made contact with Akoesticum, a training center for music, dance and theater in Ede, about a possible relaunch. ‘s-Gravesande: ‘Because of the masterclasses, we also need hotel facilities, previously we used the former monastery Rolduc in Kerkrade. There are few places in the Netherlands that lend themselves to something like this. I therefore foresee a lengthy process. With the provincial elections approaching, March next year, new initiatives are not simply embraced. And with all these crises, municipal culture budgets are under pressure.’