South Netherlands Philharmonic

The South Netherlands Philharmonic is the symphony orchestra of the Southern Netherlands. A vibrant, professional symphony orchestra with a rich diversity of concert formulas, appealing to audiences of all ages.



The South Netherlands Philharmonic truly is an orchestra for everyone. The inspired musicians deliver tailor-made artistry at the highest level. Ranging from the grand, symphonic concerts in the concert halls with the beloved evergreens out of the classical canon, to innovative concert formulas in unexpected places. From ancient masterpieces to exhilarating world premières, from challenging crossovers to educational projects. Under the direction of its intendant Stefan Rosu, the South Netherlands Philharmonic is an organisation with a clear vision of renewal, an orchestra that continuous to push its borders

75 Years of Liberation
In 2020 the Netherlands celebrate 75 years of liberation. Before the rest of the country was liberated, the Southern Netherlands already regained their freedom in the autumn of 1944. For the South Netherlands Philharmonic, this is ample cause to make the Liberation its central narrative in all its programming, this season. No better programmes to start with than the spectacular Liberation Concert Margraten and the Liberation Concert Eindhoven, organised in collaboration with the September 18 Foundation. Chief-conductor Dmitry Liss conducts Mahler’s Second Symphony, ‘Resurrection’. A masterpiece that symbolises the reconstruction of a new life. During the whole concert season, the theme of Liberation can be discovered in all its little elements. Composers like Respighi, Ravel, and Britten all offer pacifist alternatives, and Samuel Barber in his Second Symphony and Richard Danielpour in his Elegies both give glimpses of direct or indirect involvement with the act of liberating. But also works by Henri Dutilleux, Henryk Gorecki, Felix Mendelssohn, Bohuslav Martinû, Antonin Dvorák, and Igor Stravinsky contribute to our celebration of 75 years of liberty in a myriad of musical ways.

Anchored in the region
Although the South Netherlands Philharmonic has as its ambition to be one of the most prominent Dutch orchestras and to play at an international level, the orchestra certainly does not lose sight of its roots. It is, first and foremost, an orchestra for the people of the provinces of Noord-Brabant, Limburg, and Zeeland. The orchestra cherishes a strong connection to the region and its manifold societies. The South Netherlands Philharmonic attends all the important happenings. Think of the grand public events like Opera at the Parade and the Opera Sing Along, in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Or the aforementioned Liberation Concert in Margraten, which has become a staple tradition in Limburg. The fantastic performances at the Cultura Nova festival are the talk of the town. And of course, there are the popular Vastelaovend and Carnival Concerts in Limburg and Brabant. Important also are the many collaborations, with the contemporary music festival November Music in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, with the amateur musicians during the HAFA Concerts, and with rising talents of the Maastricht and Tilburg conservatories with the Orchestra Academy, to name but a few. And in Brabant, there’s also the String and Wind Days and the collaboration with the Euregional Youth Orchestra

Blossoming across borders
The South Netherlands Philharmonic already undertook a concert tour to France that was very well received by the press. The orchestra has furthermore played on stages in Cologne, Ghent, and Liège. But the international ambitions become most clear in this season’s new series of Meisterkonzerte (Master Concerts) in Aachen. Since last season, the orchestra has had a great deal of success in taking on the role of producer of this concert series in the Eurogress in Aachen. This way, the South Netherlands Philharmonic, as one of the most prominent artistic institutions of the Southern Netherlands, has become a true propagator and cultural ambassador in the Euregion. This ambitious series contains no less than six concerts, this season: three of them to be played by the South Netherlands Philharmonic, whilst the rest is taken on by guest orchestras. The South Netherlands Philharmonic has invited the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Brussels Philharmonic, and the young, English, multicultural Chineke! Orchestra for this special purpose. The latter of these three, much like the South Netherlands Philharmonic itself, stands for change and diversity in classical music.

Classical music of course has a rich history. But traditions come and go with renewal. Therefore, the South Netherlands Philharmonic celebrates innovation, manifesting itself in various, invigorating projects. On the one hand, the South Netherlands Philharmonic investigates the changes and developments in the world of classical music as a core member of the Maastricht Centre for the Innovation of Classical Music. The MCICM is an interdisciplinary research centre consisting of a collaborating orchestra, Maastricht University, and Zuyd Hogeschool. The orchestra is the centre’s laboratory, in a manner of speaking, and brings new ideas and insights to the fore and can experiment with them in practice too. On the other hand, the South Netherlands Philharmonic is wont to develop new concert formulas, such as the striking i-Classics series, and to strike up new interdisciplinary collaborations with theatre and dance troupes. The orchestra also innovates by pointedly bridging the gaps with big business, like during the inspiring business network event Leading the South.

Education, talent development, and the future
Education is one of the core pillars of the institution. The South Netherlands Philharmonic prides itself with her educational programme. Small ensembles of the orchestra’s travel around and visit the youngest students in primary schools. Older students can visit the concert hall or theatre with their class. And the South Netherlands Philharmonic also arranges special encounters with live music for students of secondary schools. In addition to these educational programmes, the South Netherlands Philharmonic always supports the road to a professional career in music. In a collaboration with the Maastricht Conservatory and the Fontys Conservatory, the orchestra has set up an Orchestra Academy. Young talents thus get the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a professional orchestra. This way, the South Netherlands Philharmonic helps guarantee a blossoming future for classical music.

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