Princess Christina of the Netherlands, an aunt to King Willem-Alexander, is worried that the lack of interest in classical music by children will mean it will eventually disappear. She calls it “an uphill battle.”
“Classical music is seen as elitist. And children who play classical music may be seen as nerds. I enjoy a bit of pop music once in a while, but classical music is our heritage and shouldn’t disappear. Classical music has a different function. It stimulates a different part of our brain, our soul.”
Princess Christina sees a special role for the Prinses Christina Concours or competition which intends to stimulate musical knowledge in children. “I hope that it continues to develop. So that classical music and jazz continue to exist and are not snowed under by the huge pop world, no matter how fun that can be.” The Concours has existed for 50 years and has carried Princess Christina’s name since 1989. The anniversary is being celebrated with a concert in The Hague.
Princess Christina is quite musical herself. She sings and composes music. “As a child, I would sing as I walked through the halls of Soestdijk Palace. Someone once said: music is there when the soul sings. That is what music means to me.” Princess Christina thinks it’s important that children come in contact with music. “Humans are creative beings. If we do not use that creativity, we become kind of like robots. We need to keep stimulating the right part of the brain.”
Princess Christina also spoke of hearing Princess Catharina-Amalia, sing for the first time. “She can sing! She has an amazing voice, I had no idea. She has so much strength and soul in her voice.” Of her own grandchildren, she said, “My granddaughter plays a little bit of the piano. My three-year-old grandson is very musical and his brother dances.”
She won’t be able to attend the anniversary concert. “I am a bit unsteady on my feet right now. It’s unfortunate because I was really looking forward to it. But I will be watching the videos afterwards!”