Following international outrage about the threatened closure of the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Centre (NBMC), the Dutch government has now said the organisation will receive some funding from the state.
After announcing in October that the NBMC was to close, the minister for education, culture and science, Marja van Bijsterveldt announced this week that she will give the NBMC £11.9m (€14m) of funding from a reserve budget. This figure is less than half of what the NBMC currently receives.
‘We are partially relieved,’ says Anton Kok, the CEO of the centre. ‘First of all we are happy that we are not to be abolished without any motivation, but what we’re doing now is going to talk with politicians and public broadcasting governors and saying “what about the rest?” Because although we know there are some huge budget cuts we think our ensembles are quite unique in the Netherlands and of international quality.’
The news that the NBMC was to close was met with disbelief and shock across the music world. Sir Simon Rattle spoke out in protest, an online petition gathered tens of thousands of signatures and some of the centre’s musicians held an impromptu performance in The Hague central station to draw attention to their plight.