The name is derived from a figure that appeared in the sixteenth century Commedia dell’arte, an Italian form of improvisational theatre. Arlecchino Harlekijn, “no one’s servant, no one’s master”.
Throughout the years Harlekijn has been a home to remarkable artists and groups including harpsichordist and conductor Ton Koopmans, pianist and composer Reinbert de Leeuw, the music theatre company Hauser Orkater, composer and pianist Erik van der Wurff, The Schönberg Ensemble, guitarist Harry Sacksioni and guitarist Edith Leerkes.
Since 2012 the enterprise has been situated in The Herman van Veen Arts Center, located on the Paltz Estate in Soest the Netherlands.
Regular guests are theatre makers and pop artists such as Marnix Dorrestein, Jett Rebel, Dave Wismeijer, Reindier, Femke Krist, Sara Leeman, Anne van Veen, Rikkert van Huisstede, the young members of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Harlekijn Chamber – and Small Symphony Orchestra.
With the founding of the Herman van Veen Arts Center, Harlekijn has broadened its palette. A wonderfully unique space has arisen in the middle of nature for exhibitions, concerts, performances and lectures.