About Fidelio

Fidelio Arts and Culture is the brainchild of Fiedel van der Hijden, who has more than thirty years of experience in the arts and in socio-cultural work. He has delivered many successful projects in the area of art, culture, and education, as well as in the socio-cultural sphere. 

Major success is festival Cultura Nova in Heerlen (The Netherlands), which Fiedel initiated in 1991 and was artistically responsible for until 1 October 2022. Fiedel has initiated, inspired and/or organized numerous other events, such as the cultural event to kickstart the cycling world championship, various exhibitions including one of the work of photographer Ed van der Elsken, the Heerlen Dance Festival, Children's Book Week, performance festivals, a multicultural festival, literature evenings, and culture cafés. In 2013, Fiedel established the Street Art foundation, which has since commissioned a large number of imposing Murals in Heerlen by a range of international artists. In the past, he has also put together programmes of music, theatre, dance, youth performances and exhibitions at the Stadsschouwburg Heerlen performance venue (Parkstad Limburg Theaters). In 2022, in collaboration with Maartje Austen, Fiedel wrote a concept for a new festival: Spectaculo Geleen, commissioned by the municipality of Sittard-Geleen. In 2024, in collaboration with Hanna Zwart, Fiedel delivered a new concept-vision regarding Art in Public Space for the municipality of Sittard-Geleen.

Drawing on his background and training as a social worker, Fiedel van der Hijden’s cultural work is informed by social concerns. Art and culture must be relevant to their environment and be vectors of change and emancipation within a community, neighbourhood, or city.

Fiedel van der Hijden collaborates with professionals from the world of art and culture. He is assisted by a number of highly competent freelancers in the area of event planning, production, publicity & marketing, coaching, and management.

In 2022 Fiedel van der Hijden received two laureates on his retirement from Cultura Nova: 'Limburger van Verdienste' (citizen of merit) from the hands of governor Emile Roemer and the 'silver medal of honour' of the municipality of Heerlen from the hands of mayor Roel Wever. In 2011 Fiedel van de Hijden was awarded the Oeuvre Culture Prize for Limburg Province. In the words of the jury: ‘Fiedel van der Hijden is someone who, artistically speaking, treads his own path. He is a key figure on the cultural scene in our Province. With boundless energy, he has got many great things off the ground, yet always with an attitude of great humility.’