The North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (NNO) was founded in 1989 following the merger of the Frysk Orkest and the Noordelijk Filharmonisch Orkest. The NNO has roots leading back to 1862, making it the oldest orchestra in the Netherlands today. From its homebase Groningen, the NNO plays approximately 120 concerts per season in the northern part of the Netherlands, as well as other parts of the country and abroad. Every other season the orchestra tours abroad, in the recent past for example in Germany, Spain and France (Salle Pleyel and Cité de la Musique in Paris)
The orchestra is highly praised for its artistic accomplishments during the last few years. Paul Janssens, critic for Mens en Melodie (June 2003), acclaimed magazine for classical musical professionals, described the NNO as “The best and most adventurous regional orchestra of the Netherlands”. Each season many Dutch and world premieres as well as the high level of performance contribute to this point of view. In 2006 the orchestra was nominated for the prestigious VSCD Klassieke Muziekprijs (Classical Music Award of the association for the combined theaters and concert halls in the Netherlands) “for it’s adventurous and daring programming of classical repertoire and other styles of music”.
Stefan Asbury is chief conductor of the NNO since 2011. From 2005 till 2011 Michel Tabachnik was chief conductor of the orchestra. Alexander Vedernikov was the NNO’s permanent conductor from August 2001 until March 2003. Viktor Liberman was chief conductor of the NNO from 1997 until 1999. Prior to this the orchestra worked with chief conductors Hans Drewanz (1995-1997) and Jacek Kaspszyk (1991-1995). The orchestra has also worked with guest conductors such as Alain Lombard, Jean Fournet, Andrzej Markowski, Richard Dufallo, Carl Davis, Marcello Viotti, Sergiu Comissiona, Bernhard Klee, Nikolai Alexeev, Roberto Benzi, Luis-Antonio Garcia Navarro, Jacques Mercier, Yaron Traub, Arvo Volmer and Michael Hofstetter, and soloists like David Oistrach, Siegfried Palm, Heinz Holliger and Nelly Miriciou.
Under the skilfull leadership of Viktor Liberman the NNO recorded four CDs, including Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8. In 2001 the NNO and Vedernikov recorded the complete symphonic works of the Dutch composer Jacob van Domselaer for the Donemus label. In September 2001 the NNO recorded the DVD of Paradiso by Jacob ter Veldhuis and video artist Jaap Drupsteen. The orchestra recorded Johan de Meij's Second Symphony and Slonimsky’s Earbox by John Adams with Jurjen Hempel. This CD was released in December 2003 and received with critical acclaim. In 2004 MuziekGroep Nederland released the Dutch Horn Concertos, played by Ab Koster and the NNO, in april 2005 the NNO released Johan de Meij’s Symphony nr. 1 ‘Lord of the Rings’ and in 2006 Johan de Meij’s Symphony nr. 3 ‘Planet Earth’ was released by Haske. In 2006 The NNO recorded the CDs Tchaikovsky’s Symfony no. 5 in 2006 and Brahms Symfony No. 1 in 2007 with chief conductor Michel Tabachnik.
Each season the NNO holds a festival which highlights a prominent contemporary composer. Previously featured composers have been Wolfgang Rihm, Terry Riley, Hans Werner Henze, Arvo Pärt, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Heiner Goebbels, Sofia Gubaidulina, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson and Michael Nyman. In October 2010 composer and guitarist Steve Vai will be featured at this festival.
With so called 'cross-over' concerts, the NNO also tries to target new audiences. It therefore seeks to collaborate with specialists in other fields and areas in the musical industry (amongst others jazz and popmusic).
- Drachten | De Lawei | +31 (0)512 33 50 50 | www.lawei.nl Concert 8 p.m. | Sunday 3 p.m.
- Emmen | De Muzeval | +31 (0)591 61 70 00 | www.muzeval.nl Concert 8.15 pm
- Groningen | De Oosterpoort | +31 (0)50 368 03 68 | www.de-oosterpoort.nl Concert 8.15 pm | Sunday 3 pm
- Hoogeveen | De Tamboer | +31 (0)528 28 01 80 | www.detamboer.nl | Concert 8.15 pm | Sunday 2.30 pm
- Leeuwarden | De Harmonie | +31 (0)58 233 02 33 | www.harmonie.nl | Concert 8.15 pm | Sunday 3 pm
- Meppel | Schouwburg Ogterop | (0522) 25 42 42 | www.schouwburgogterop.nl | Concert 8.15 pm | Sunday 11 am
- Stadskanaal | Theater Geert Teis | +31 (0)599 63 17 31 | www.theatergeertteis.nl | Concert 8pm
9724 CZ Groningen
+31 (0)50 369 58 00
Stefan Asbury is in great demand with major orchestras, ensembles and festivals worldwide. Since the 2007/08 season, he has been Artist in Association with Tapiola Sinfonietta. He has served on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center since 1995 and was Associate Director of New Music Activities from 1999 to 2005: he currently holds the Sana H. Sabbagh master teacher chair on the Conducting Faculty. Stefan held the post of first Music Director of the Remix Ensemble Casa da Musica Porto from 2001-2005, working with them to commission new works and programming an innovative mix of jazz, film and music theatre.
Stefan enjoys collaborations with orchestras such as WDR Cologne, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Seoul Philharmonic, RAI Turin, SWR Freiburg/Baden-Baden, and
RSO Wien and is a regular guest conductor at festivals such as Festival d’Automne, Munich
Biennale, Wien Modern and Wiener Festwochen, Salzburg Festival and Venice Biennale. Most recently, he made his debuts with the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Dresden Philharmonie. He returned to Dresden Philharmonie earlier this season to conduct Messiaen’s Canyons.
In the opera world, Stefan conducted John Adams’ A Flowering Tree for the 2009 Perth International Arts Festival and recent opera productions have included Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz for the 2008 Wiener Festwochen, a concert version of Britten’s Owen Wingrave with Tapiola Sinfonietta, the world premiere of Van Vlijmen's Thyeste with La Monnaie, Brussels and Dutch Touring Opera and Staud's Berenice at Munich Biennale.
Stefan Asbury has particularly strong relationships with many composers including Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders, Unsuk Chin and Mark Anthony Turnage, and collaborates regularly with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Basel Sinfonietta, Musikfabrik and London Sinfonietta. This season, Stefan continues his collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group in a production of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Performances take place at Lincoln Center, New York with the Orchestra of St Luke’s, at the Barbican, London with London Symphony Orchestra, at the Harris Theater, Chicago with Chicago Sinfonietta and others venues in the US. Stefan Asbury has released a recording of works by Unsuk Chin with Ensemble Intercontemporain on Deutsche Grammophon. His CD of music by Jonathan Harvey with the Ensemble Intercontemporain was awarded a ‘Monde de la Musique CHOC’ award, his Grisey complete 'Espace Accoustique' cycle with WDR Koln won the German music critics award. His discography also includes music by Isang Yun with Deutsches Symphonie- Orchester Berlin, works by Elliott Carter with Ensemble Sospeso, portrait discs of Philip Cashian with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and and Rebecca Saunders with musikFabrik.