Cultural Activities 

Frank and Antoinet began to schedule chamber concerts of Chinese music in Dutch venues like De IJsbreker, De Doelen and RASA in the early 1990s. They later extended their territory to include such prestigious venues as the Concertgebouw and the Muziekgebouw a/h IJ in Amsterdam, and – from the Amsterdam-China Festival (2005) onwards – also scheduled more sizeable ensembles, ranging from Chinese orchestras to Peking and Kun Opera companies and the Hubei chime bells ensemble. In the course of several decades, they invited several thousands of Chinese musicians to visit the West.

They organized international tours for the Shanghai Peking Opera Company, the Quanzhou Marionette Theatre, the Gansu Huanxian Shadow Theatre and numerous smaller groups. They were particularly keen to programme little known and rural genres, and in this framework they supported performances by, for example, Jiangnan sizhu players from Shanghai teahouses, Suzhou tanci singers, Nanguan singers from Fujian, Daoist and Buddhist groups from Suzhou, Tianjin and Shaanxi, the Hua Family Band (Shaanxi), Li Xianlie's ensemble of Chaozhou music, Yu Lefu's ensemble of Cantonese instrumental music, performers of such rare storysinging genres as Laoting dagu and Henan zhuizi, and folk singers from a great many ethnic backgrounds (Tibetan, Yi, Naxi, Dong, Miao etc). 

 

However, they also arranged concerts for the National Traditional Chinese Orchestra (Beijing) and similarly sized symphonic groups. And they gladly provided room for experimentation, in concerts such as by vocal celebrity Gong Linna, the ensemble Bandu from Shanghai, the zheng trio San Chuan (Beijing), the ensemble Speaking in Tongues (with Gao Hong, pipa) or the Trio Min-Wu-Xu, with Min Xiaofen (pipa), Wu Wei (sheng) and Xu Fengxia (zheng). They organized numerous concerts of solo instrumental music, notably guqin, and throughout the years invited many master performers to present their art on Western stages, including qin players like Li Xiangting, Lin Youren, Wu Zhao, Ding Chengyun and Dai Xiaolian, zheng players like Yang Xiuming and Chen Qijun, and pipa players like Li Guangzu, Wu Man, Liu Fang, Tu Weigang and numerous others.

In all these activities, it has been their explicit aim to show the broadest possible variety of new and traditional genres, and to pay specific attention to effective ways in which Western audiences can best be introduced to, and acquainted with these genres. 

Frank and Antoinet also organized countless pre-concert lectures, radio broadcasts and public workshops together with composers and musicians, they produced numerous short informative film clips (often in interview form) to be shown during concerts, and provided elaborate programme notes. And they organized brief 'musician-in-residence' contexts for a number of concert events.