The New Dutch Academy’s new, large scale project is “Dutch Crown Jewels – Symphonic Gems from the Court of Orange”.

Watch the project teaser (in English):

Watch the project teaser (in Dutch):

The new project brings to life recently unearthed musical treasures, making these available nationally and internationally in 2023 through a variety of activities, events, media and platforms including publications, workshops, live concerts in historically significant locations, broadcasts, a mini-documentary entitled “Moving Music. Going Dutch” and with the recording of a new album, “Dutch Crown Jewels “(CD, streaming and download). With the project, the NDA continues its work, delivering fresh musical perspectives and putting valuable Dutch and shared European cultural heritage back on the international map.

The project is timed to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the singularly most important musical figure of 18th century the Netherlands – Hofkapellmeister, composer and violinist Christian Ernst Graaf (1723 – 1804). The project’s musical programme puts Graaf in context, exploring the lives, stories and works of a number of his colleagues including keyboard virtuoso and music master to Princess Wilhemine, Johann August Just (1750 – 1791). Another featured colleague is composer and organist Wilhelm Gottlieb Hauff (1750 – 1816) whose own work location, the Stevenskerk in Nijmegen, also rather specially, celebrates its 750th anniversary this season. With these festive events, the NDA is delighted to simultaneously celebrate its own 20th anniversary.

The NDA opened the Graaf 300 year on Thursday 26 January 2023 at Kasteel Duivenvoorde with a champagne reception and chamber music performance. This followed a pre-presentation of the project in the NDA’s home base of the Koorenhuis in November 2022 in which Murphy and his NDA colleagues outlined the musical discoveries which will be presented through the Dutch Crown Jewels project.

Spring 2023 Upbeat Event – Harpsichord Day and Christening of New Harpsichord

On Saturday 22 April 2023 at 14:30 at the Koorenhuis in The Hague the NDA offers you the opportunity to come and learn all you ever wanted to know about the harpsichord. At the event, you can make up close and personal acquaintance with a brand new harpsichord – one of the instruments which will be used in the NDA’s Dutch Crown Jewels orchestral concerts and album recording in June 2023.

This model of harpsichord is exactly the kind of instrument which was used in the 18th century in the Italian opera houses and famous court symphony orchestras all over Europe. Based on a 1778 harpsichord by Cresci, now preserved at the German National Museum in Nuremberg, the new instrument is currently being made by expert maker Jukka Ollikka at his workshop in Prague and will be unveiled in this special event in The Hague on April 22. Originally from Finland, Ollikka studied at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague before relocating himself and his workshop to Prague. Ollikka and the NDA’s Murphy originally met each other on the basketball court as music students in The Hague some 25 years ago. Ollikka’s most recently made instrument, previous to the abovementioned Cresci, was a French double commissioned by the Rudolfinum Concert Hall. It was successfully delivered in early February 2023.

At the event in The Hague on 22 April, Ollikka will make a highly personal presentation on the history of the harpsichord, on the process of creating this new instrument and will hold a Q&A. Christening the instrument, Murphy will give a recital together with NDA harpischordist Patricia Robaina with works for viola and harpsichord by WF Bach and Dutch court composers Graaf, Stamitz, Hauff and Just. Tickets are 20 euros for adults. Children and youths under 27 free. You can pre-reserve your seats for this special event via

Summer 2023 – Dutch Crown Jewels and Graaf 300 – Main Orchestral Concerts

Main orchestral concerts of the Dutch Crown Jewels project in the Graaf 300 year include: Stevenskerk, Nijmegen Sunday 25 June 2023 at 14:00, Kasteel Duivenvoorde, Voorschoten Friday 30 June 2023 at 17:00 and 19:00, and Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam Saturday 26 August 2023 at 14:15. Ticket sales for these and surrounding orchestral events will commence in Spring 2023. Supporting these main orchestral events are the project’s chamber music events. These will be announced shortly.

Who was Graaf?

A trailblazer and a musical tastemaker, Graaf was at the helm of the school of composers which created the vibrant and cosmopolitan music scene in the Netherlands in the 18th century. Born in Rudolstadt in Thuringia in the heart of Germany, Graaf’s musical life story is a wonderful example of the historically rich and fruitful tradition of musical exchange between Germany and the Netherlands. After moving to the The Hague and being appointed Hofkapellmeister, he led the court orchestra, programmed the court’s concert series, and co-ordinated the visits of the slew of musical superstars who visited at the time including J.C. Bach, Abel, Mozart and Beethoven. Graaf’s own compositions were performed all over Europe and even at some of the very first symphonic concerts in Northern America. He helped lay the foundations for the famously internationally-orientated Dutch musical culture, which continues to flourish nowadays.

Enjoy the New Dutch Academy’s world premiere recording of Graaf’s Symphony in D here

Corporate Partners

The NDA welcomes corporate partners to the Dutch Crown Jewels project. Are you the director of a “Royal” company and would you perhaps like to become a corporate project partner? Please enjoy the video below, fill in the contact form below and allow our chairman, Ernst van Win, to get in touch with you personally.