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Openingconcert by the Noorderlijk Orkest Collective conducted by Harmen Cnossen

The Noordelijk Orkest Collectief (NOC/NOV) consists of (young) musicians from Northern Netherlands (Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe) and Northwest Germany (Oldenburg/Ostfriesland), who are selected on the basis of demanding quality criteria through regional auditions. It unites very talented young musicians from the EDR in a high-level EU orchestra that transcends cultural boundaries.


NOC will play a unique role in promoting intercultural dialogue and mutual respect and understanding through culture. With its activities, it acts as cultural ambassador for the EDR by focusing the spotlight on the richness and diversity of German and Dutch cultures and on emerging talents. The cross-border partnership also contributes to the development of methods and methodologies that ultimately enable other organisations in the border area and beyond to use them.


This group of exceptional young musicians works together to realize a very high level of orchestra and thus the NOC presents itself as a unique orchestra in Europe.


Now that the EU is facing numerous challenges and needs a closer bond with its citizens, NOC has an even more important role to play in expressing European core values, connecting people through classical music and reach the younger generation in the EDR by bringing together young practitioners of classical music with a different background through concerts, exchanges, workshops, etc.


The NOC partners are professional organisations with a long and rich history. By entering into a long-term partnership, a consistently high level of music making, a wide range and continuity of NOC is guaranteed.


Conductor is Harmen Cnossen, from Sneek.


Cnossen received his first piano and percussion lessons when he was seven years old. He studied percussion and piano at the Music Pedagogic Academy in Leeuwarden, the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and timpani at the Herbert von Karajan Academy at the Berliner Philharmoniker. Cnossen took courses in early music in Weimar and Utrecht.

Already during his studies Cnossen played in the European Youth Orchestra and he conducted chamber music, opera, oratorio, symphony orchestras, musical and church music.

Cnossen was permanent conductor at the Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra of Belgium and in the Netherlands of the amateur orchestra Coro e Orchestra of Giuseppe Verdi in Groningen, with which he performed music by composers such as Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi. From 1996 to 1998 he was conductor of the student orchestra Bragi in Groningen, which he left after a conflict with the board. Since 2006 Cnossen has been conductor of the amateur orchestra Kerkraads Symfonie Orkest and since September 2007 of the UvA Orchestra J. Pzn Sweelinck.


From 2008 to 2013, Cnossen was conductor of the Marine Corps of the Royal Netherlands Navy in the rank of Major of the Marine Band. In the summer of 2016 Harmen Cnossen became conductor of Fanfare Sint Clemens Arensgenhout and Royal Harmonie De Berggalm in Klimmen. Since 2017 he is also conductor of the music association St. Caecilia in Schipluiden.

In the years 2000-2006 Cnossen stayed in China. In 2000, Cnossen went to Beijing, where he was invited by Tang Muhai and the China National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus to work as an assistant conductor and choirmaster. Cnossen conducted and coached Chinese instrumentalists and singers in the performance of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Bruckner and Hector Berlioz, and he led chamber music projects with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Cnossen also led the choirs of the Central Conservatory in Beijing and the Conservatory of Nanking in projects with old and modern choral music.


Cnossen moved to Shanghai after an invitation from the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. He conducted works by the Chinese composer Xiaogang Ye, the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, the Great Wall Piano Concerto and works by Leonard Bernstein (Porgy and Bess) and John Corigliano. In China, Chinese propaganda music with a strong classic Western character was often required on every concert program, such as Good News from Beijing, Red Women Detachments March, Spring Festival Overture. He led the Shanghai Ballet in concerts with film music and Viennese waltz and the ballet Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky.


After Shanghai, Cnossen was also invited by the Macau Chamber Orchestra, where he led concerts with music from Béla Bartók to Antonio Vivaldi. He was also a chamber music teacher at the conservatory in Macua.

After Cnossen won the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra Fellowship Award in 2005, he was appointed Resident Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPO) by chief conductor and artistic director Edo de Waart. He directed music from John Adams, Guo Wenjing, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss (Salome and Elektra).

In Hong Kong Cnossen also led university concerts and school concerts. Together with Harry Wong, he put together the successful Music in the Wok concerts and Symphonic Fairytales. He conducted the HKPO in cross-over concerts with Laura Fygi and her band. In 2006 Cnossen also became conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus.

Other orchestras that conducted Cnossen are the orchestra of the Herbert von Karajan Academy, Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra, Kammerphilharmonie Leipzig, Shanghai Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Bulgarian Opera.
Cnossen won a gold medal in 1995 at the Lovro von Matacic competition in Zagreb, after which he conducted the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra in the Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In 2005 Cnossen won the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra Fellowship Award.