Netherlands has the reputation of the leader country in environmental and population management. In 2015, Amsterdam and Rotterdam were, respectively, at the 4th and the 5th position on the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index.
Sustainability is a concept important for the Dutch. The goal of the Dutch Government is to have a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system, by 2050, in which CO
2 emissions have been halved and 40 percent of electricity is derived from sustainable sources.
The government is investing billions of euros in energy efficiency, sustainable energy and CO
2 reduction. The Kingdom also encourage Dutch companies to build sustainable business/projects/facilities, with financial aids from the state to the companies or individuals who are active in making the country more sustainable.
Main articles: Music of the Netherlands and Music of the former Netherlands Antilles
The Royal Concertgebouw from the 19th century
The Netherlands has multiple music traditions. Traditional Dutch music is a genre known as “Levenslied”, meaning Song of life, to an extent comparable to a French Chanson or a German Schlager. These songs typically have a simple melody and rhythm, and a straightforward structure of couplets and choruses. Themes can be light, but are often sentimental and include love, death and loneliness. Traditional musical instruments such as the accordion and the barrel organ are a staple of levenslied music, though in recent years many artists also use synthesisers and guitars. Artists in this genre include Jan Smit, Frans Bauer and André Hazes.
Pop singer Anouk in 2008.
The Johan Cruyff Arena, largest Dutch concert venue
Contemporary Dutch rock and pop music (Nederpop) originated in the 1960s, heavily influenced by popular music from the United States and Britain. In the 1960s and 1970s the lyrics were mostly in English, and some tracks were instrumental. Bands such as Shocking Blue, Golden Earring, Tee Set, George Baker Selection and Focus enjoyed international success. As of the 1980s, more and more pop musicians started working in the Dutch language, partly inspired by the huge success of the band Doe Maar. Today Dutch rock and pop music thrives in both languages, with some artists recording in both.
Current symphonic metal bands Epica, Delain, ReVamp, The Gathering, Asrai, Autumn, Ayreon and Within Temptation as well as jazz and pop singer Caro Emerald are having international success. Also, metal bands like Hail of Bullets, God Dethroned, Izegrim, Asphyx, Textures, Present Danger, Heidevolk and Slechtvalk are popular guests at the biggest metal festivals in Europe. Contemporary local stars include pop singer Anouk, country pop singer Ilse DeLange, South Guelderish and Limburgish dialect singing folk band Rowwen Hèze, rock band BLØF and duo Nick & Simon. Trijntje Oosterhuis, one of the country’s most well known and versatile singers, has made multiple albums with famous American composers Vince Mendoza and Burt Bacharach.
Early 1990s Dutch and Belgian house music came together in Eurodance project 2 Unlimited. Selling 18 million records, the two singers in the band are the most successful Dutch music artists to this day. Tracks like “Get Ready for This” are still popular themes of U.S. sports events, like the NHL. In the mid 1990s Dutch language rap and hip hop (Nederhop) also came to fruition and has become popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. Artists with North African, Caribbean or Middle Eastern origins have strongly influenced this genre.
Since the 1990s, Dutch electronic dance music (EDM) gained widespread popularity in the world in many forms, from trance, techno and gabber to hardstyle. Some of the world’s best known dance music DJs hail from the Netherlands, including Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Dash Berlin, Julian Jordan, Nicky Romero, W&W, Don Diablo and Afrojack; the first four of which have been ranked as best in the world by DJ Mag Top 100 DJs. The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is the world’s leading electronic music conference and the biggest club festival for the many electronic subgenres on the planet. These DJs also contribute to the world’s mainstream pop music, as they frequently collaborate and produce for high-profile international artists.
In classical music, Jan Sweelinck ranks as the Dutch most famous composer, with Louis Andriessen amongst the best known living Dutch classical composers. Ton Koopman is a Dutch conductor, organist and harpsichordist. He is also professor at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Notable violinists are Janine Jansen and André Rieu. The latter, together with his Johann Strauss Orchestra, has taken classical and waltz music on worldwide concert tours, the size and revenue of which are otherwise only seen from the world’s biggest rock and pop music acts. The most famous Dutch classical composition is “Canto Ostinato” by Simeon ten Holt, a minimalistic composition for multiple instruments. Acclaimed harpist Lavinia Meijer in 2012 released an album with works from Philip Glass that she transcribed for harp, with approval of Glass himself. The Concertgebouw (completed in 1888) in Amsterdam is home to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, considered one of the world’s finest orchestras.
Film and television
Main articles: Cinema of the Netherlands and Television in the Netherlands
Some Dutch films – mainly by director Paul Verhoeven – have received international distribution and recognition, such as Turkish Delight (“Turks Fruit”, 1973), Soldier of Orange (“Soldaat van Oranje”, 1977), Spetters (1980) and The Fourth Man (“De Vierde Man”, 1983). Verhoeven then went on to direct big Hollywood movies like RoboCop (1987), Total Recall (1990) and Basic Instinct (1992), and returned with Dutch film Black Book (“Zwartboek”, 2006).
Other well-known Dutch film directors are Jan de Bont (Speed), Anton Corbijn (A Most wanted Man), Dick Maas (De Lift), Fons Rademakers (The Assault), and documentary makers Bert Haanstra and Joris Ivens. Film director Theo van Gogh achieved international notoriety in 2004 when he was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri in the streets of Amsterdam after directing the short film Submission.
Internationally, successful directors of photography from the Netherlands are Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar, Spectre, Dunkirk) and Theo van de Sande (Wayne’s World and Blade). Van Hoytema went to the National Film School in Łódź (Poland) and Van de Sande went to the Netherlands Film Academy. Internationally successful Dutch actors include Famke Janssen (X-Men), Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), Jeroen Krabbé (The Living Daylights) and Derek de Lint (Three Men and a Baby).
The Netherlands has a well developed television market, with both multiple commercial and public broadcasters. Imported TV programmes, as well as interviews with responses in a foreign language, are virtually always shown with the original sound and subtitled. Only foreign shows for children are dubbed.
TV exports from the Netherlands mostly take the form of specific formats and franchises, most notably through internationally active TV production conglomerate Endemol, founded by Dutch media tycoons John de Mol and Joop van den Ende. Headquartered in