This work combines everything I ever dreamed of professionally: my passion for classical music, my love for the Russian culture, and, of course, the children. When we first brought these talented young musicians to the Netherlands, to perform at the festival “Winteravonden aan de Amstel” which I am a co-founder of, hearing them play turned my world around. My priorities shifted. I felt this was something to give my life a meaning – help these kids develop their talents and let the world hear them shine. So now when asked “How many children do you have?” I answer: “Somewhere around 500”.
I am happy to be part of this wonderful initiative to support young talents from the Netherlands and Russia giving them the opportunity to perform together on one stage. As the Head of Moscow Gnessin Special School of Music for more than 30 years, I dedicated my professional life to nurture the creative growth and development of young musicians, and in my view the importance of such international experiences cannot be underestimated.
I am a very dedicated fan of classical music, opera in particular, and as an IT specialist I always think in practical terms. So when Nadia approached me with this idea to establish a platform for the professional growth of young talents, I did not have to think twice. For me, helping them develop is a possibility to give back to the community, but also a way of bringing some beauty into this world. Who knows, maybe one of these young musicians is a future Rostropovich or Gergiev?
Although my background and experience is in finance (I am an auditor and my firm has offices in Amsterdam and Moscow), my vocation is in developing young talent. This can be in football (I was in the organizing team of the Moscow Youth Soccer competition for various years), for young Russian managers as part of the President’s Program and as a coach and mentor for young talented businessmen and managers. In addition, arts are an important instrument to overcome cultural differences and a great tool to start listening to each other, a quality that is very well needed nowadays.
|Patrick den Haan
In my daily life i’m an active member of a tennisclub, were I give tennis lessons to youth members. Which practically says it all – kids are my passion. I love to see them grow and develop their talents, be it in sports, music, or arts. They need to be given the right start early in life to be able to flourish. And it makes me happy to give them a chance, doing all that I can.
As a professor piano at The Conservatory of Amsterdam, i think it is extremely important to support young talented artists.