Festival edition 2018 'For the Love of Music' (April 4-8)


'Classical Encounters' - our new name from 2018!

The Hague International Chamber Music Festival returns in 2018 for its fifteenth edition. A special jubilee and a good moment for presenting our 'repackaging' to the public. From 2018, the festival will continue under a fresh new name: Classical Encounters.

Classical Encounters is a meeting place for (chamber) music lovers and a breeding ground for creative adventure. The festival is not only a podium for music, but also a laboratory, within which musicians research the artistic scope of their musical performance.

Festival theme 2018: 'For the Love of Music'

In 2018, the special relationship between the artist and the maecenas has a prominent place. 
Maecenases have always played a key role in the history of music. They have not only funded the creation of new compositions but have often also played a creative role, for example by thinking together about the content of new pieces. In this edition, we present programs around remarkable benefactors and their protégés. The topic is not meant as a call or search for sponsors but as a finger on the pulse of the current state of affairs, whereby the artist and devotee learn to have a renewed relationship with each other.

Groundbreaking programs in extraordinary locations

Chamber music thrives in an intimate setting. The festival incorporates chamber music locations such as the  New Church (Nieuwe Kerk)  in the Hague and the Duivenvoorde Castle but has also previously been on less obvious locations, such as the Power Plant, the Union, museums, and the beautiful hidden Spanish Court townhouse (Spaansche Hof). Classical Encounters also chooses locations that are normally not accessible by the public, such as living rooms and embassies. We try to give a little bit extra with each concert. This way, everyone will have more adventure than what they are used to.

Informal ambiance and engaged public

Although we cherish an attentive public, the ambiance is informal on purpose. The musicians have personal contact with the visitors, play at the homes of music lovers (Hague Living Rooms), the public sometimes sits around the musicians, and youngsters play together under the guidance of professionals in the Viotta Youth Orchestra.

Room for spontaneity

Music is better done justice when (professional) musicians exceed themselves. If musicians play on routine - no matter how professionally - sparks do not fly easily. That is why Eva Stegeman gladly takes festival musicians outside of their comfort zone. She has a large international network of top musicians and carefully selects the talents and personalities that are a good match for each other; in this way, the total is more than the sum of its parts. They intensively rehearse together for several days for a concert. Such a 'pressure cooker' delivers a unique result that is clearly different from the work of ensembles that play together year in, year out. Furthermore, the festival is known for bringing musicians to the Netherlands who were on the threshold of an international breakthrough.

EFFE-label for artistic quality

The International Chamber Music Festival The Hague (Classcial Encounters from 2018) is proud to announce that we have been awarded the EFFE-label (Europe for festivals, festivals for Europe) by the European Festival Association. The EFFE-label gets awarded to festivals of the highest artistic quality that have a significant impact on the local, national and international field.

The EFFE-jury "appreciate the artistic vision over the years and notices the wish to improve the international dimension of the festival..."

Europe’s remarkable festivals honored with EFFE Label 2017-2018

715 festivals from 39 countries received the EFFE Label 2017-2018 as ‘remarkable festivals’ in Europe. On 4 May, the Label 2017-2018 results were announced by the International Jury chaired by Sir Jonathan Mills. EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, is Europe’s Label for remarkable festivals initiated by the European Festivals Association. It is an international festival community connecting festivals that are deeply committed to the arts, their communities and Europe.

International Chamber Music Festival The Hague - a short history

In 2003, The Hague violinist Eva Stegeman took the initiative to found a new chamber music festival.The festival started with just three concerts at Kasteel Duivenvoorde in Voorschoten.

During the following years the festival quickly developed into a ten day event with multiple concerts at various different historic locations in and around the city of The Hague, such as the Nieuwe Kerk, the Duivenvoorde Castle, the Peace Palace and the Lourdeskerk. Internationaal Kamermuziekfestival Den Haag also meets its audience at less traditional locaties such as living rooms, galeries, cafés, museums, salons and other surprising vernues.

Each year, artistic leader Eva Stegeman invites a group of internationally renowned musicians who gather in The Hague to rehearse, perform and inspire our audience. The carefully selected program each year revolves around an artistic theme. The festival is known for its personal character, original programming and unique atmosphere.