The Metropole Orchestra (or Metropole Orkest) is a jazz and pop orchestra based in the Netherlands, and is the largest full time ensemble of its kind in the world. A hybrid orchestra, it is a combination of jazz big band and symphony orchestra. Comprising 52 musicians, it is versatile across many musical forms, and is equipped with a "double rhythm section - one for pop and rock, and one for jazz based music.
It was founded in 1945 by Dolf van der Linden at the urging of officials from Netherlands Public Broadcasting, which manages and subsidizes the orchestra. Since then, the Metropole has become a symbol of Dutch culture around the world. The name of the group was suggested by one of the musicians. Dolf van der Linden led the ensemble for 35 years until he stepped down in 1980. He was replaced by Rogier van Otterloo, who led the group until his sudden death in 1988. Dick Bakker held the baton until 2005 when the current chief conductor, Vince Mendoza, took over.
The orchestra is a regular feature at the North Sea Jazz festival and the yearly Holland Festival along with many TV and radio programs broadcast to millions. The ever-growing Dutch film and television industry relies heavily on the Metropole Orchestra for its film scores. Since 2005 the Metropole is under the baton of its Chief, four-time Grammy Award winner Vince Mendoza, and can be seen frequenting the concert stage, in festivals and on recordings in the Netherlands as well as internationally.
In European Radio broadcasting, its closest counterparts are the BBC Concert Orchestra, and in particular the now defunct BBC Radio Orchestra which had the same instrumentation. The ensembles often performed with the same guest conductors and soloists, using the same bespoke arrangements. Although the Metropole Orchestra is known for its adaptations to classic Jazz works and unique partnerings i.e. with Basement Jaxx.
The government was looking to pull their funding from the famous orchestra and Dutch cultural icon. At the last minute, in December 2012, politicians secured funding for the orchestra until 2017.
The Look of Love - Burt Bacharach Songbook
Black Symphony (live album)
- (1998) Conductors and Composers of Popular Orchestral Music: A Biographical and Discographical Sourcebook, p. 263265, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
- The Metropole Orchestra. Retrieved on 28 November 2010.
- AustrianCharts.com: Metropole Orkest page (Ö3 Austria Top 40)
- Ultratop.be/nl/: Metropole Orkest page (Ultratop 50)
- Metropole Orkest page (Ultratop 40
- FinnishCharts.com: Metropole Orkest page (The Official Finnish Charts
- LesCharts.com: Metropole Orkest page (SNEP French Singles Chart
- GermanCharts.com: Metropole Orkest page (German Media Control German Charts
- DutchCharts.com: Metropole Orkest page (Dutch Top 40)
- Hitparad.ch: Metropole Orkest page
- Official website
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