The Metropole Orchestra is the world's largest professional pop and jazz orchestra. Renowned for its wide-ranging abilities, the Metropole Orchestra performs anything from chansons to World-music, film-scores, Rock- or Pop-tunes as well as high-octane jazz. The orchestra is a regular feature at the North Sea Jazz festival and the yearly Holland Festival along with countless TV and radio programs broadcast to millions. The ever-growing Dutch film and television industry relies heavily on the Metropole Orchestra for its film scores. Since 2005 the Metropole is under the baton of its Chief, six-time Grammy Award winner Vince Mendoza, and can be seen frequenting the concert stage, in festivals and on recordings in the Netherlands as well as internationally.
A sampling of the performers who have shared the stage with the Metropole Orchestra underscores the ensemble’s quality and flexibility to cover a wide range of genres: Oleta Adams, Vicente Amigo, Antony & The Johnsons, Within Temptation, Andrea Bocelli, Joe Cocker, Elvis Costello, Eddie Daniels, Brian Eno, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Astrud Gilberto, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, Chaka Khan, Pat Metheny, Ivan Lins, Mike Patton, Paquito D’Rivera, John Scofield, The Swingle Singers, Jean ‘Toots’ Thielemans, Gino Vannelli, Steve Vai, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Dino Saluzzi, Trijntje Oosterhuis, the legendary Turkish singer Sezen Aksu and Fado-queen Mariza, just to name a few.
The CD recording Ivan Lins & The Metropole Orchestra with the Brazilian singer/songwriter Ivan Lins, released in August 2009, received a Latin Grammy for 'Best Brazilian Album'.
The Metropole Orchestra was popular right from its inception in 1945 by founder Dolf van der Linden, who led the group from one success to another. When van der Linden formed the group shortly after the Second World War, his mandate was to create an ensemble with the ability to produce high level performances of pop and jazz music for public radio. He travelled extensively throughout Europe to find the right mix of musicians for his orchestra. His refreshing and challenging musical ideas spoke directly to a public starved for a new musical culture after years of war. Dolf van der Linden directed the orchestra for 35 years. Radio, and in later years television broadcasts helped spread the orchestra’s fame even further. International tours and pan-European broadcasting (EBU) brought the Metropole’s musical message to countless listeners all over the world
Perhaps the greatest compliment to the legacy of Dolf van der Linden is that the Metropole Orchestra has maintained its own unique musical personality and still continues to develop within an increasing variety of musical styles and technical innovations.
The energetic, young Rogier van Otterloo, the son of the famed classical maestro Willem van Otterloo, followed van der Linden as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor. Van Otterloo’s enthusiasm was contagious and the orchestra developed into a first-class enemble with the flexibility to work in the newest genres in light music, from rock 'n roll onwards. The Metropole Orchestra was expanded to include a double rhythm section, one for pop-music, the other for jazz- and World-music. Van Otterloo developed into a major figure as composer and arranger. Soloists from genres ranging from American top jazz stars to Opera divas joined forces with the Metropole Orchestra. The orchestra contributed greatly to the growing European jazz scene.
Dick Bakker’s arrival to the Metropole brought a new life to the Metropole orchestra. The group made countless appearances in large-scale television productions at home and abroad and a selection of memorable performances including the Acropolis concert with George Dalaras and Mikis Theodorakis in Greece, and performances at Amsterdam’s rock temple, Paradiso. At the same time, The orchestra moved to a new, modern studio and worked steadily on recordings for radio, television, cds and film soundtracks.
In 1995 Vince Mendoza began his relationship with the orchestra primarily in the area of jazz. The relationship blossomed with the music that he wrote for the orchestsra as well as the concerts and recordings featuring many of the top Jazz and Pop soloists in the world. During this time a new fleet of arrangers and composers joined the ranks to create the contemporary sound of the orchestra that you know today. In 2005 Mendoza became the chief conductor and continues to maintain the high level of performances that the public has grown to expect from the orchestra. Today the Metropole is active with more than 40 concerts a season on concert stages all over the Netherlands and internationally.
The Metropole Orchestra prides itself on the glittering array of great artists it has worked with. In alphabetical order, the lineup of stars: Oleta Adams, Sezen Aksu, Antony & The Johnsons, Charles Aznavour, Burt Bacharach, Victor Bailey, Kenny Barron, Shirley Bassey, Jeff Beal, Jim Beard, Tony Bennett, Andrea Bocelli, Terry Bozzio, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Ray Brown, Patrick Bruel, John Cale, Amit Chatterjee, Chico Cesar, Joe Cocker, Natalie Cole, Pete and Conte Condoli, Elvis Costello, The Creatures, Pete Christlieb, Ronnie Cuber, Eddie Daniels, Manu Dibango, Céline Dion, Eva de Dios, George Duke, Brian Eno, Sertab Erener, Peter Erskine, Bill Evans, Clare Fischer, Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Flanagan, Bruce Fowler, Art Garfunkel, Gloria Gaynor, Stan Getz, Astrud Gilberto, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Tom Harrel, Conrad Herwig, Roger Hodgson, Shirley Horn, Freddie Hubbard, Al Jarreau, Ingrid Jensen, Hank Jones, Junkie XL, Mike Keneally, Nancy King, The King's Singers, Lee Konitz, K's Choice, Hubert Laws, Ivan Lins, Joe Lovano, Vera Lynn, Kevin Mahagony, Bob Malach, Mariza, Andy Martin, Nancy Marano, Dina Medina, Daniel Mendez, Pat Metheny, Bob Mintzer, Mark Murphy, Andy Narell, Daniel Navarro, Silje Nergaard, Peter Nero, Ed Neumeister, The New York Voices, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Alan Parsons, Mike Patton, Bill Perkins, Oscar Peterson, Fabia Rebodao, Diane Reeves, Paquito D’Rivera, Frank Rosselino, John Scofield, Zoot Sims, Sister Sledge, Mike Stern, The Supremes, The Swingle Singers, Lew Tabackin, Within Temptation, Clark Terry, Jean 'Toots' Thielemans, Tulug Tirpan, Mel Tormé, Rafael de Utrera, Steve Vai, Gino Vannelli, Sarah Vaughan, Harvey Wainapel, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Werner, Andy Williams, Nancy Wilson, The Yellowjackets and Karim Ziad.
Michael Abene, John Adams, Manny Albam, Jeff Beal, Bob Brookmeyer, Dori Caymmi, John Clayton, Michel Colombier, Bill Dobbins, Clare Fisher, Steve Gray, Tom Harrell, Peter Herbolzheimer, Bill Holman, Chuck Israels, Jim McNeely, Vince Mendoza, Bob Mintzer, Ennio Morricone, Ed Neumeister, Chuck Owen, Gunther Schuller and Maria Schneider.