After 12 years, season 2023/2024 will mark the last season with Matthew Rowe as Music Director of Dutch National Ballet and Chief Conductor of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra. After more than a decade of musical leadership of one of the world’s top ballet companies, Rowe has decided to step down to focus on his burgeoning international career and extensive roster of guest engagements.
During his years at Dutch National Ballet, Rowe has conducted almost every work in the company’s repertoire, from the classics of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Stravinsky to world premieres from the leading choreographers of today. Rowe’s close connections with Dutch National Ballet and the Dutch Ballet Orchestra will continue and he will return as guest conductor in the coming seasons.
Matthew Rowe: ‘It has been a privilege and an honour to have been the musical leader of both Dutch National Ballet and the Dutch Ballet Orchestra – two world-class companies – for more than a decade. We have created so many beautiful and memorable productions together and I am very proud to have played a part in bringing these two organisations into a closer partnership and understanding. I also feel tremendously fortunate to have been able to work closely with so many passionate, inspiring, and extraordinarily talented colleagues, and although I’m stepping down as Music Director and Chief Conductor, I’m very much looking forward to returning in the years ahead.’
Bridging two organisations
Matthew Rowe is an exceptionally versatile conductor with a wide repertoire and stands out in the conducting world for his skill and experience with complex collaborative productions. He made his debut with Dutch National Ballet in 2004, appearing as guest conductor every season until his appointment as Music Director of Dutch National Ballet and Chief Conductor of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra in 2012. In this dual position, Rowe has played a vital role in the musical and artistic co-operation of the two organisations and has contributed enormously to the development of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra and in the recognition and prestige that the orchestra has gained internationally as a leading orchestra for dance.
Piet van Gennip, Director of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra, says: ‘Matthew Rowe – our outstanding chief conductor – started his tenure with the Dutch Ballet Orchestra and Dutch National Ballet just after the severe budget cuts in 2012. He played an important role in rebuilding the orchestra to where it is today, performing at a constant and high artistical level. It has been a pleasure for both me and the orchestra’s management team to work with Matthew over the past 11 years. He is a gifted communicator with a keen eye for detail, who worked with great dedication to bring the Dutch Ballet Orchestra and Dutch National Ballet as close together as possible, both on stage as off stage. We thank Matthew for the hundreds of wonderful and inspirational performances in which he conducted the orchestra, not only with Dutch National Ballet but also with Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). We are happy to be able to work under Matthew’s baton for another season before he steps down from his position.’
Ted Brandsen, Artistic Director of Dutch National Ballet: ‘Matthew Rowe has made a hugely important contribution to the collaboration between Dutch National Ballet and the Dutch Ballet Orchestra, and with that to the artistic success of our company. Under his inspired musical leadership many fantastic projects took place, with dancers and musicians growing closer together. Matthew is an exceptional musician and a gifted conductor for ballet who knows what both dancers and musicians need, and always tries to bring people together. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to work with Matthew already for so many years. The dual position he has held over the past years is a heavy one, requiring a lot of meetings and administrative tasks. I understand and respect Matthew’s wish to have more time for making music and am glad we will be able to continue our close partnership for another year. Our artistic collaboration will continue after that as well, albeit in a different and less intensive way.’
Matthew Rowe is much sought-after as a guest conductor across the world. Renowned for his skill and experience in both the classics and in new works, his extensive repertoire also encompasses symphonic and operatic repertoire.
Photo: Marshall Light Studio