Neil van der Linden graduated in medicine and law. After a brief run as lawyer he moved to the arts. He was dramaturge for several theatre companies and the Holland Festival, member and secretary of the Dutch Arts Council and contributor and editor of several performing arts magazines in the Netherlands.
In 1992 he travelled to Iraq to report for Dutch weekly magazine Vrij Nederland on the situation of the archeological monuments in Iraq after the 1990/1991 war. From then on he specialized in exchange with the Middle-East and North-Africa, initiating smaller and larger projects. Among them were bringing the Orchestra of the XVIIIth Century and the Netherlands Chamber Choir to Bethlehem Christmas 1999 for performing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the Nativity Church, setting up student exchanges between the Netherlands and the West Bank, organizing a conference for young film- and documentary makers from the Middle-East in De Balie in Amsterdam, presenting Toneelgroep Amsterdam at the Cairo Experimental Theatre Festival, organizing the Dutch selection in the Cairo Arts Biennale 2001, introducing Farida Mohammed Ali and the Iraqi Maqam Enemble to the world, organizing the Middle-East and North-African music section in several editions of the Hong Kong Municipal Arts Festival, advising the Rafi Peer Organization’s Sufi Music Festivals in Pakistan, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Baku Mugam Festival, the Sacred Music Festival in Dijon and the Festival of Early Music Utrecht and the Peace Treaty of Utrecht 2013 Commemoration Festival on music of the Middle-East and North-Africa, advising the Fes Festival of Sacred Music, advising the Marrakech Festival of Folkloric Music, organizing the Dutch participations for the Teheran Fajr music and theatre festivals. writing the sections on Iraq and Egypt for the Rough Guide to World Music, reviewing Middle-East music for the world music magazine Songlines, curating two editions of the Art of Revolution Festivals in De Balie in Amsterdam, curating the Sounds of Arabia Festival in Abu Dhabi, setting up co operations with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, setting up culture courses at New York University Abu Dhabi, initiating a wide array of tours and other co-operations for Dutch artists in the Middle-East and North-Africa and vice-versa, advising the Doha Katara Arts Centre on performing arts, initiating the Gulf Art Guide.