Maartje-Maria plays the cello at the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the 2005-2006 season, she was a member of the Academy of the orchestra, which is made possible thanks to its donors, funds and corporate partners. Her biggest wish is for the orchestra to stay as unique as it is. The freedom required to make this wish come true is under pressure.
‘My ambition - assuming I will play in the orchestra until I retire - is to preserve my individuality, my personal sound, within the big picture. As a string musician, you contribute to the orchestra’s overall sound but are not heard on an individual level. It is important to develop myself further and to become better. This means there’s always work to do!
That sense of freedom is the most critical aspect of the future. We depend on the support we receive from the audience.
My wish for the orchestra? For the orchestra to stay special. Not ending up in a situation where we can only do what the highest common denominator wants us to do. To continue having the freedom to carry out productions aimed at a smaller audience. As one of the few orchestras, we can attract people with our sound and hall without playing a standard repertoire. That sense of freedom is the most critical aspect of the future. We depend on the support we receive from the audience.
We also depend on our donors when it comes to financing talent development. Musical training gives a special meaning to the lives of young people. At all levels, from amateurs to top talent. We are responsible for developing talent at the highest level from our position as an orchestra. The Academy offers opportunities for the future which are very rare. Everyone training at the Academy, or who has already finished is reaping its benefits.
The orchestra enjoys playing with Academy students. We know they play well - that’s why they were hired - but they are also in a position where we can ask them specific things so that they can learn from us. The Academy students grow and develop within the group; they are a part of us during that year. And they grow in the sound of the orchestra. You can hear this when they are trying out for a permanent position within the orchestra. They have something recognisable, which is what many people fall for.’