The Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten, the Dutch performing arts fund, has slashed its funding for ensembles and arts projects. Only 80 arts companies will receive grants in the 2013–16 funding period, down from 118 in the previous round four years ago. Sixty per cent of applications – a total of 123 cultural bodies – were unsuccessful.

Among the rejected applicants are the Utrecht, Matani and Rubens quartets, the Ives and Apollo ensembles, Sinfonia Rotterdam and the Cello Octet Amsterdam. Of the larger ensembles, the Metropole Orchestra received nothing after applying for a €720,000 grant. Classical music festivals including the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, the Gaudeamus Music Week, the Utrecht International Chamber Music Festival had their submissions rejected, along with three national violin competitions, organised under the banner ‘Viooldagen’ (Violin Days).

A statement by the fund said that competition for funding was ‘incomparably greater’ than it had been in the previous funding round, as 'the average quality of the applications was many times higher than four years ago'. The total amount of available funding for the 2013–16 period is €24.5m, down from almost €40m for 2009–12.

In 2009 the funding process was heavily criticised by arts groups for failing to provide reasons for its decisions. In contrast, however, this time the fund has made its assessments of all 203 arts companies publicly available on its website.