Monday, 30 December 2013

Concert Performance for Dutch Royal Family

Simon Murphy and members of The Hague's Baroque Orchestra, The New Dutch Academy (NDA), have given a special concert performance for Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, HRH Princess Beatrix, Vice President Piet Hein Donner, and the members of the Dutch Council of State. The concert took place in the Gothic Hall of the Council of State in The Hague on December 4.

Curated by Murphy, the hand-tailored programme featured intimate 17th and 18th century musical works with a special relationship with the House of Orange and the buildings of the Council of State. The evening's soloists included German soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto, Australian recorder virtuoso Amy Power and American cellist Caroline Kang with music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, van Wassenaer and Graaf. Murphy directed the performance from the viola and also performed as soloist in Telemann's Viola Concerto. More info (link to Royal House website)

           Simon Murphy conductor and violist with the Dutch Royal Family

The concert was the 6th occasion that Dutch-based Australian conductor and violist Simon Murphy (40) has performed for Princess Beatrix.

One of his earlier concert performances for (the then) Queen Beatrix was in Rome in 2004 at the Palazzo Quirinale in a concert celebrating the rich historical traditions of cultural exchange between the Netherlands and Italy. Curated and conducted by Murphy, and broadcast live by the RAI, the programme centred around Corelli's iconic Concerti Grossi, works first printed by the 18th century Amsterdam-based music publisher Roger. The Rome performance followed Murphy's ground-breaking 2003 Corelli Concerti Grossi CD recording made at the Holland Festival of Early Music Utrecht, recently voted a top 5 highlight of the festival's 30 year history.

           Simon Murphy Utrecht Festival and Corelli CD 2003

The first time Murphy performed for Princess Beatrix was during her state visit to Sydney, Australia in 1988. Murphy was then 14. Since moving to the Netherlands in 1996, Murphy's concerts for members of the Dutch royal family have included both orchestral and chamber music performances, in the Netherlands and abroad.

Listen to Murphy's Rome performance (RAI) 
Listen to Murphy's recording of Corelli's Concerti Grossi (PentaTone Classics)
Listen to Murphy's recording of symphonies from the 18th century court of Orange (PentaTone Classics)

New app brings Holland's musical heritage to life

Entitled “The Hague – International City of Music in the 18th Century”, conductor Simon Murphy and The Hague's Baroque orchestra, The New Dutch Academy (NDA), have developed a new musical walking tour and “app” bringing the richly international music traditions of cosmopolitan Dutch court city of The Hague to life.

Featuring beautifully engraved historical maps, 18th century paintings and Murphy and the NDA's world première recordings of symphonic music by composers at The Hague's 18th century court of Orange, the app offers an up-to-date, engaging, multi-media guided tour of The Hague's vibrant 18th century cultural scene.


Witnessing regular visits from European musical superstars including Mozart and Beethoven, the musical life of The Hague flourished in the 18th century. The city maintained several permanent orchestras, numerous opera houses and diverse concert series, and became a highly influential, international centre of music publishing, during the glittering cultural era of Princess Anna and her son Prince William the 5th.

Incorporating the results of more than a decade of scholarly research and musical exploration, the new app makes this valuable Dutch musical heritage accessible to the general public for the very first time.

Watch the App Trailer

Download the app directly on iTunes (for Apple products including iPhone and iPad), for Android (for example Samsung) on Google Play or via the NDA's website. The app is now available in Dutch with an English version becoming available in March 2014.

Listen to Murphy's world première CD recording “Symphonies from the 18th Century Court of Orange in The Hague” with the New Dutch Academy Orchestra on Pentatone Classics (PTC 5186 365)

Project Partners:

Based on research by conductor Simon Murphy and historian Corry Klugkist, the app has been developed by the New Dutch Academy in co-operation with Dutch designer Crisja Ran and Dutch app developer Martin de Lang and his team at MDL Solutions. Other project partners include the Hague's Historical Museum, BNG Cultuurfonds and Rabobank Stimuleringsfonds Den Haag.

Gothic Project Premièred Successfully

Exploring the world of Polidori's The Vampyre, Macpherson's Ossian, Shelly's Frankenstein, and Apel and Laun's Tales of the Dead, conductor Simon Murphy's new Gothic Project brings the late 18th/early 19th century obsession with the supernatural to life with a new series of exciting guest conducting concert programmes and productions.

Murphy recently successfully premièred the first in his new series of Gothic symphonic programmes, Black Magic, in The Hague's Philipszaal, featuring German soprano Gudrun Sidonie Otto in the solo role.

           Simon Murphy conductor

Featuring arias and spoken word interwoven with orchestral works, Murphy's new Gothic productions include two orchestral concert programmes Black Magic and Great Scot, as well as the staged concert production, Gothic Stories. Designed for either modern symphony orchestras or large scale period instrument orchestras, Murphy's hand-tailored Gothic guest conducting productions are now available internationally in ready-to-go form.

Aimed at enriching programming, enhancing performance and engaging audiences, Murphy's new Gothic productions complement his growing series of successful guest conducting programmes which include the titles Empress of Pleasure, It's About Time, Ein Heldenleben, Composers' Paradise and Heaven on Earth. Related to the theme of the supernatural is a further, newly developed, concert programme entitled Once Upon a Time / Happily Ever After.

Watch videos of the first production
Rust Colma's Klage
Reichardt Macbeth

Gothic Programmes and Production Details (link)