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State subsidy for musical heritage cut to zero

In his vision of what should be ‘new culture policy', State Secretary Halbe Zijlstra has announced on Friday, June 10 that subsidy for the Netherlands Music Institute will be terminated as of January 1, 2013. This effectively means that the State denies further responsibility for musical heritage.

In this vision the NMI collection is wrongly characterized as a ‘municipal collection with limited public appeal'. This ignores the fact that the NMI holds a national collection of international standing. It includes personal archives of some 600 Dutch composers and other musicians, including Willem Mengelberg, Alphons Diepenbrock, Julius Röntgen, Hendrik Andriessen, Tristan Keuris and Peter Schat. Apart from countless documents pertaining to Dutch musical history, the NMI also holds a general music library of some 200.000 volumes, including publications from 1492 till the present, as well as manuscripts by Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt, Schumann and Mahler.

Loss of government support will force the NMI to terminate its activities in 2013. What in the event would happen to the collections is an open question.

Frits Zwart, director

10 June, 2011

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