Press Release. For Immediate Publication (4 January 2014)

New app brings Holland's musical heritage to life 

Entitled “The Hague – International City of Music in the 18th Century”, The Hague's Baroque orchestra, The New Dutch Academy (NDA), and its conductor Simon Murphy have developed a new musical walking tour and “app” bringing the richly international music traditions of cosmopolitan Dutch court city of The Hague to life. 

Featuring beautifully engraved historical maps, 18th century paintings and the NDA's world première recordings of symphonic music by composers at The Hague's 18th century court of Orange, the app offers an up-to-date, engaging, multi-media guided tour of The Hague's vibrant 18th century cultural scene. 

Witnessing regular visits from European musical superstars including Mozart and Beethoven, The musical life of The Hague flourished in the 18th century. The city maintained several permanent orchestras, numerous opera houses and diverse concert series, and became a highly influential, international centre of music publishing, during the glittering cultural era of Princess Anna and her son Prince William the 5th. 

Incorporating the results of more than a decade of scholarly research and musical exploration, the new app makes this valuable Dutch musical heritage accessible to the general public for the very first time. 

The app was launched in the Ballroom of The Hague's Council of State on for press and sponsors on December 10. It went live on-line today and is now available for download in two versions – for Apple and Android mobile devices. 

Download the App Now

via or direct on iTunes (iPhone, iPad) or Google Play (for Android mobile devices, such as Samsung products) 

More Information 

On the NDA

On conductor Simon Murphy

Full Press Release 

In the 18th century, The Hague was an exciting, cosmopolitan European musical centre. Particularly in the second half of the century during the reign of William V, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the Netherlands, the court city blossomed as an international, enlightened cultural centre. 

William's court in The Hague maintained an impressive music programme with its own court orchestra, esteemed composers and musicians in service and various concert series. Together with the activities of the city's numerous opera houses, public concert halls, and musical pleasure gardens, The Hague established am international reputation as an attractive, cosmopolitan and culturally effervescent city. 

For international touring musicians, The Hague became an artistically stimulating and financially nutritious stop on the European music touring circuit with famous musical visitors to the city including JC Bach, Abel, C Stamitz, Richter, Dussek, Mozart and Beethoven. The city's music publishing scene was especially noteworthy, and an added attraction for international musical visitors. The Hague's highly influential, internationally orientated music publishing houses, including the Hummel brothers, produced beautifully crafted editions and maintained excellent, worldwide distribution networks. They informed and influenced the musical tastes of Europe and introduced the western world to the works of composers including JC Bach, Mozart, Haydn and their contemporaries for the very first time. 

In 2009, after a decade of research into The Hague's symphonic tradition, conductor Simon Murphy and the NDA presented the very first CD recording documenting The Hague's 18th century symphonic school in partnership with Dutch premium label PentaTone. This world première recording introduced works by composers active at The Hague's court of Orange including hofkapellmeister Graaf, court concertmaster Schwindl, violin/viola virtuoso C Stamitz, and court cellist F. Zappa. This rediscovered Dutch musical heritage was enthusiastically received by the Dutch and international music press with German national radio wittily stating that, following the NDA's discoveries, the Dutch could now certainly hold their own with the British in the category of musical “Crown Jewels”. 

For the NDA, the next step in this journey of musical discovery was uncovering exactly where all of this took place in 18th century The Hague, addressing questions such as: 

- where were the court composers' and musicians' residences?

- where were the opera houses, the rehearsal locations and the concert halls? 

After years of musical inquiry and scouring the city's historic archives, the NDA recently completed this second phase of research. This large scale project has been carried out by Dutch historian Cornelia Klugkist together with NDA conductor Simon Murphy. The duo have unveiled much new historical information and have produced many fascinating new insights into just how cosmopolitan and culturally effervescent The Hague was in the 18th century. 

Presentation and Outreach 

The NDA wishes to bring as many people as possible in contact with the results of this research. And in particular, with the topic of the research itself – the musical heritage of the Netherlands. 

In order to reach, appeal to and engage with different audience groups – whether they be young, old or in-between, digitally savvy, new to classical music or existing music lovers or professionals – the orchestra is making this available in diverse ways. 

Professionals – Scholarly Articles and Editions

For professionals, the NDA has published this new gained information in scholarly journals and on the NDA's own site. Read an article about court cellist F. Zappa here (NDA website, under articles).

In partnership with The Hague-based music publishers Albersen Muziekverhuur, the NDA’s new, modern editions of rediscovered court symphonies from The Hague have been made available to symphony orchestras all around the world. Through this initiative, concert audiences from Scandinavia through to Australia have been treated to live performances of these rediscovered Dutch symphonic gems. 

General Public – App and Walking Tour 

Now, with the support of several local partners and sponsors including BNG Cultuurfonds and Rabobank Stimuleringsfonds Den Haag, the NDA is making this valuable information available to the general public. This is being achieved through two presentations in two most attractive and inviting forms: 

- as an app or “digital discovery tour” 

- and (for the less digitally minded members of the public) as an actual walking tour with an historic map of The Hague and accompanying booklet 

The App has been developed by the New Dutch Academy in co-operation with Dutch designer Crisja Ran and Dutch App developer Martin de Lang and his team at MDL Solutions

Download the App Now 

Both versions (app and the walking tour as a pdf) are available for free download via the NDA's website: 

Moving towards the spring tourist season, the app will also become available for download via the website of the Haags Historisch Museum (HHM) 

Through the HHM, one will also be able to request a guided version of the walking tour for groups. Further information on the topic is available for purchase at the museum shop including the NDA's world première CD recording of symphonies from The Hague's court of Orange in the 18th century. 


The world première CD recording “Symphonies from the 18th Century Court of Orange in The Hague”, New Dutch Academy Orchestra, conductor Simon Murphy (Pentatone Classics PTC 5186 365) is available via, through or on iTunes

More Information 

On the NDA

On conductor Simon Murphy

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Not for publication 

More information and visual material available via 

info [at] 

Conductor Simon Murphy is available for interviews via 

info [at] or + 31 614 975 395