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Henri Arends belongs to the generation of conductors, who paid as much attention to modern music as to that of the classic and romantic periods.
Already in that time he achieved notice for his mature interpretations and for his exceptional musical memory. Wilhelm Furtwängler, the great German conductor, who saw him working with the Mozarteum Orchestra predicted him a brilliant career.
It was at first conductor and musical director of the North Holland Philharmonic that he attracted attention for his completely fresh approach to a vast repertoire and for his highly original efforts to attract new audiences to the concert hall. among these successful enterprises was the formation of the famous "Heart's Desires Festivals", which were aimed at young people.
As guest conductor, Arends was applauded at many concerts in his country and abroad, where the audience, the orchestra-musicians and the press received him with sympathy, praise and admiration.
He conducted a.o. the radio-orchestras of Hilversum, Paris, Helsinki, Nice and Geneva; the FOK-orchestra of Prag, the Philharmonics of Brno, Ostrawa, Kraków, Lodz, Katowice, Danzig, Budapest, Innsbruck, Osnabrück, Aachen and the Salzburg Mozarteum orchestra. He also appeared with orchestras in South-Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg) and with orchestras in the United States (New York and Baton rouge).
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