Oorkaan is a music company of professional creators that has been allowing small and large ears to discover the infinite world of music for over 20 years. Oorkaan originated in 2001 in the “Kleine Zaal” of the Royal Concertgebouw, from the desire to present musical offerings to youth in a more appealing way. In 2015, artistic director Caecilia Thunnissen introduced the Oorkaan Method, a unique way of making and playing. This defined Oorkaan's current artistic signature and developed the staged concert to an internationally recognized level at Oorkaan. Oorkaan is one of the few youth companies that gives music and musicians the lead role. Since 2021, we also have our own ensemble. Our renowned method is developed to create staged concerts featuring only musicians on stage who play from memory. They appear on stage as physical players; music is their language, and no spoken words are used. We achieve this with top musicians from our own Oorkaan Ensemble as well as guest ensembles and orchestras. 

Based in Amsterdam, Oorkaan tours theaters, festivals, schools and special venues throughout the Netherlands and internationally. Annually about 40,000 people visit one of the 200 Oorkaan performances. Oorkaan is housed in De Kempenaerstudio's, a cultural breeding ground in a former school building in West. We make our productions in the rehearsal studio and train new talent. 


Mission & vision

Oorkaan wants to include all children of all levels and all social and cultural backgrounds
to the infinite world of music, from the past to the present. In doing so, we rely on four pillars: develop, make, play and connect. Read more about mission and vision here.

For over twenty years, Oorkaan has been the institution in the Netherlands specialized in music for a young audience that creates music performances at an internationally high level. Director Caecilia Thunnissen developed "the Oorkaan method" upon her appointment as artistic director in 2015. Read more about the Oorkaan Method and the Oorkaan Master Classes here.

Oorkaan invests in building new audiences and in the talent development of stage directors, choreographers and young, talented musicians. At Oorkaan they are given the space within the OTOPs (Oorkaan Talent Development Programs) to develop a new vision of creating and playing for young and old. Read more about talent development here.

Annually, we perform school concerts for over 9,000 schoolchildren. These are typically children who do not have access to (live) performed music. Surrounding the productions, in-depth educational programs are developed for the venues, for the classroom (using the concert hall as a classroom), and online for at-home learning. Read more about the educational programs here.

The staged concerts are recurringly programmed worldwide by concert halls, festivals, and venues such as Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Philharmonie Köln, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) New York, Kennedy Center Washington D.C., Art Space for Kids China, Philharmonie Luxembourg, deSingel Antwerp, Konzerthaus Wien, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, RomaEuropa, and Salzburg Festival.

In recent years we have won several (international) awards and nominations for best musical productions for young audiences, such as the YAM Award and the Zapp Theater Prize. View the entire list here. 



Since 2015, Caecilia Thunnissen has been the artistic director of Oorkaan and developed the 'Oorkaan method', an internationally recognized method of creating staged concerts from music. In 2020 she won the YAMawards 2020 with Kriebel/tickle (2+), an international co-production of Oorkaan, Dutch National Opera and the Philharmonie Luxembourg. She also created Laat me met rust! (2017) the family concerts with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Orchestra Muzikale Catwalk  (2017), Romeo & Juliet (2018) and Tarantula en de Dans der Dieren (2018). caeciliathunnissen.com


For press releases, publications, and downloading our logo click HERE.