The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (= NedPhO; Dutch, Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest) is a symphony orchestra based primarily in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The NedPhO was formed in 1985 from the merger of three orchestras, the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (= NKO; Dutch, Nederlands Kamer Orkest) continues to give concerts under its own name, with both it and the NedPhO as part of the Stichting Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest (Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation), which is currently headquartered at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. The NedPhO Foundation is scheduled to lose its premises at the Beurs van Berlage in 2013. The NedPhO Foundation comprises the largest orchestra organisation in the Netherlands, with 130 musicians on staff.
Both the NedPhO and the NKO rehearse at the Beurs van Berlage. The NedPhO gives concerts in Amsterdam at the Concertgebouw. In addition, the NedPhO serves as one of the orchestras for productions at De Nederlandse Opera Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam. The NedPhO had given a concert series at the Beurs van Berlage until 2002, when budget cuts led to the end of that series. Since 2005-2006, the NedPhO also gives a series of concerts at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht. In addition, they are welcome guests in other Dutch cities and also make frequent appearances in concert halls and festivals outside Holland. The NedPhO|NKO brings classical music to life at the highest level and collaborates closely with international guest soloists and conductors. Both orchestras take great pleasure in developing and welcoming new musical talent.
The chief conductor of the NedPhO also serves as chief conductor of the NKO. Hartmut Haenchen was the first chief conductor of the NedPhO, from 1985 to 2002. He continues to work with the orchestra as a guest conductor. Yakov Kreizberg succeeded Hartmut Haenchen as chief conductor of the NedPhO and the NKO in 2003, holding both posts until his death in March 2011, the year that he had been scheduled to step down from both posts. In March 2009, the NedPhO announced the appointment of Marc Albrecht as the orchestra's third chief conductor, effective with the 2011-2012 season, for an initial contract of 4 years. With Albrecht's parallel appointment as chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera (DNO), this arrangement allows for the NedPhO to serve as the principal opera orchestra for DNO. The artistic director and concertmaster of the NKO is master violinist Gordan Nikolić.
Two of the NedPhO|NKO’s most important trademarks are their inviting programming and their accessible concert presentation. Everyone feels welcome at a NedPhO|NKO concert, experienced concert-goers and first-timers alike. The musicians guarantee exceptional listening experiences thanks to the enthusiasm with which they share their passion for music with the audience. The orchestras’ concerts also form the basis for related events, including opportunities for audience members to meet soloists and orchestral players.
The NedPhO|NKO is well-known for its active involvement in cultural and social matters. Its large-scale educational programme NedPhO GO! brings classical music within everyone’s reach: the performances they give in unusual venues in the suburbs are combined with appealing educational activities for children and young people. The musicians of the NedPhO|NKO acknowledge their responsibility towards the future of classical music by passing on their passion for music and its live performance to a new generation; their concerts kindle an enthusiasm for classical music and at the same time create an entirely new audience.