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Dolf van der Linden

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Title: Dolf van der Linden  
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Subject: All Kinds of Everything, Un grand amour, Frans de Kok, Für zwei Groschen Musik, Linden (surname)
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Dolf van der Linden

Dolf van der Linden
Born David Gijsbert van der Linden
(1915-06-22)22 June 1915
Vlaardingen, Netherlands
Died 30 January 1999(1999-01-30) (aged 83)
Hilversum, Netherlands
Occupation conductor, composer
Years active 1934 - 1995

Dolf van der Linden in 1959

David Gijsbert van der Linden (22 June 1915 – 30 January 1999), known as Dolf van der Linden, was a Dutch conductor of popular music with a reputation which extended beyond the borders of the Netherlands.


David Gijsbert van der Linden, the son of a salesman of musical instruments, was born in Vlaardingen, near Rotterdam. Before World War II, he played in some different bands as a pianist and tried his hand at arranging music for these bands. His colleagues started calling him "Dolf", because he reminded them of a former colleague with that name.[1]

In 1945, he was asked by Dutch authorities who had arrived back from their exile in London to form an orchestra for light music. Picking musicians he knew from all over the Netherlands, he thus managed to create the Metropole Orchestra. Famous names from these early years were Benny Behr, Sem Nijveen (both violinists), Kees Verschoor (clarinetist) and Manny Oets (pianist).[2]

In 1957, van der Linden conducted the winning Dutch entry to the BBC to do some work for them. All in all, between 1957 and 1971, van der Linden conducted 13 Dutch Eurovision entries, amongst which two winners (in 1957 and 1959 - the latter song, "Een beetje", written by the pianist of his orchestra, Dick Schallies).[3]

In the 1970 contest in Amsterdam, he was asked by RTÉ to step in and conduct "All Kinds of Everything" by Dana, another winner. In 1969 he refused to go to the Eurovision Song Contest in Spain, because the Franco regime reminded him too much of his experiences in World War II. Frans de Kok stepped in and was lucky enough to accompany what turned out to be another winning entry, "De troubadour" by Lenny Kuhr.[4]

In the 1970s, Dolf van der Linden tried to rejuvenate and modernise his orchestra. In 1980, he retired and his successor as chief conductor of the Metropole Orchestra was Rogier van Otterloo. In 1995 he was awarded a Golden Harp for his outstanding achievements for entertainment music in the Netherlands; at the ceremony, he conducted the Metropole Orchestra for the last time. In 1999, van der Linden died in Hilversum. [5][6]


  1. ^ Profile: Dolf van der Linden,; accessed 22 June 2015.
  2. ^ Profile: Dolf van der Linden,; accessed 22 June 2015.
  3. ^ Profile: Dolf van der Linden,; accessed 22 June 2015.
  4. ^ Profile: Dolf van der Linden,; accessed 22 June 2015.
  5. ^ Profile: Dolf van der Linden,; accessed 22 June 2015.
  6. ^ Henk van Gelder, "Metropole Orkest 60 jaar", Amsterdam, 2005
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Willy Berking
Eurovision Song Contest conductor
Succeeded by
Franck Pourcel
Preceded by
Augusto Algueró
Eurovision Song Contest conductor
Succeeded by
Colman Pearce
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