You will probably have noticed it in the new logo: the Peter de Grote Festival is celebrating its 20th birthday! The many butterflies not only symbolize the many preceding festivals, they also represent our young talent spreading their wings! The festival has become a key factor in the cultural landscape of the northern Netherlands and its scope has grown from locally to nationally and even internationally. Because of its adventurous program the festival had been able to gather a tight relationship with its audience which supports us very loyally. The last years the number of visitors has grown to 7.500!

The Summer Academy has developed itself into the hotspot for international talent and holds a very special place in the development of young talent. Participants often return annually to the festival, will study at the Prins Claus Conservatoire, will be given chances to perform as musicians at the festival and some even become members of the new generation of teachers/musicians of the festival. Their musical future starts in Groningen!

Together with the professorship of Life Long Learning, which is managed by Rineke Smilde who founded the festival and was artistic director for many years, the festival is developing a new project: PdG Cares! We want to musically enrich the lives of people who are not able to come to the festival. During the festival two pilot projects will be organized together with the UMCG. Combined with this there will be two lectures about Music and Science. These new initiatives show that the festival keeps renovating in close contact with society.

This year we have entered into a partnership with the International Student LiedDuo Competition, a unique competiton for Lied duo's, which was organized at the Prins Claus Conservatorium last April.

Concerning the concert program of this anniversary edition there is one series I would like to expose: 1997 - 2017. In this series of concerts we look back at the early years of the festival with highlights and special memories. We are very happy that Simone Lamsma will be at the festival for a concert and a masterclass. In 1998 she took part in the Summer Academy and won the Büchli Fest-Meijer Award. The last decade she has become one of the most popular violinists of her generation. Founder Rineke Smilde has been given a Carte Blanche, and programmed one concert with beautiful music of Messiaen. The series is completed with the replays of two special programs from early editions of the festival: a program with music of César Franck (which originates from the 1998-edition of the festival) and an evening with Bulgarian music (2000).

The succesfull development of the festival has only been possible because of the support of so many people, gouvernments, companies, foundations and of course our loyal visitors. We are very grateful for this. Because of this the festival is more vital than ever before and the future looks bright! Therefore we welcome you to celebrate this anniversary together with us.

- Paul Komen -