Jules van Hessen is the co founder and music director of the Netherlands Theatre Orchestra (NThO) just renamed in to the Maestro Jules Orchestra. The history of the orchestra goes back to 1985 when young, talented musicians felt there was a need for a different type of orchestra, one that did not depend on governmental support.
It was the first commercial symphony orchestra in the Netherlands. Although it has specialised in tailor-made corporate assignments, it has also produced its own productions. An example of a successful NThO production is the Lord of the Rings concert in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, which featured actor Christopher Lee. This season the MJO orchestra will play concerts in the Concertgebouw and Concertzaal Tilburg (Vivaldi Four Seasons)

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Cantors

The NThO also participated in the PBS production “Cantors: A Faith in Song”. Three revered cantors gathered in Amsterdam’s historic, 17th century Portuguese synagogue to record (on both CD and DVD) this moving and magnificent audio collection of prayers, liturgy and traditional Yiddish folk and theatrical songs. Naftali Herstik, Chief Cantor of Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue, with cantors Benzion Miller of Young Israel Beth-El, Borough Park, Brooklyn, and Alberto Mizrahi of the Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago, travel in song back to the times when a cantor was considered a Messenger of God. Jules also conducted a revival of this project in New York.

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De Tiende van Tijl

Recently a string ensemble consisting of musicians of the NThO performed, together with soprano Zinzi Frohwein, an unknown but thrilling aria by Licinio Refice on Dutch television (De Tiende van Tijl): Ombra di Nube.

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