Concertgebouw Orchestra

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The Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (KCO) ( Dutch for Royal Concert Hall Orchestra ) in Amsterdam is the most important symphony orchestra in the Netherlands . Internationally it appears under the name Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) , in German-speaking countries it is also known as the Concertgebouw Orchestra .

The Concertgebouw Orchestra after a concert in the Concertgebouw

The Concertgebouw Orchestra was founded in 1888. That year, his venue was opened, the Koninklijk Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, after which it is named. For the 100th anniversary in 1988, Queen Beatrix awarded the orchestra the title Koninklijk ('Royal'). The extraordinarily round sound of the ensemble was and is largely shaped by its venue. The orchestra also plays at times at the Dutch Opera , the leading opera house in the Netherlands.


The first chief conductor was Willem Kes (1888–1895). During the extraordinarily long tenure of Willem Mengelberg (1895–1945), it achieved world fame as one of the most virtuoso orchestras of the time. His successors Eduard van Beinum (1945–1959), Bernard Haitink (1961–1988), Riccardo Chailly (1988–2004) and Mariss Jansons (2004–2015) were able to maintain its importance among the world's best orchestras. Since the beginning of the 2016/17 season, the Italian Daniele Gatti has held the position of chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Gatti was released on August 2, 2018 on allegations of sexual misconduct.

Behind the position of chief conductor there was the “first conductor” (Dutch: first conductor ) for the first 75 years or so . Among these were Karl Muck (1921–1925), Pierre Monteux (1924–1934), Bruno Walter (1934–1939) and Eugen Jochum (1941–1943). Behind them came the “second conductor” ( tweede conductor ), including Cornelis Dopper (1908–1931) and initially Eduard van Beinum (1931–1938), who was then appointed “second first conductor”. During Haitink's tenure, the first and second conductor system was abolished and replaced by assistants. These included Edo de Waart and Hans Vonk . However, even in the post-war period, some internationally famous conductors had permanent positions with the orchestra, such as Rafael Kubelík (1949–1955), George Szell (1958–1961), again Eugen Jochum (1961–1963) and Kirill Kondraschin (1978–1981) .


In 2006, a committee of editors-in-chief from leading European music magazines voted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra second among all European orchestras, just behind the Vienna Philharmonic .

In 2008, the British trade magazine Gramophone voted it the number 1 of all orchestras in the world through a survey of music critics.

A survey of 16 music critics from all over the world, organized by the music website Bachtrack in 2015 , produced a list of the world's best orchestras with the Berlin Philharmonic in first place and the Concertgebouw orchestra in second place.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Daniele Gatti: A European in Amsterdam
  2. Concertgebouw Orchestra - chief conductor dismissed after allegations of assault on Spiegel Online on August 2, 2018
  3. At the top of the top ten., December 29, 2006.
  4. ↑ Trade magazine selects four German orchestras among the best in the world. In: Die Welt , November 19, 2008.
  5. Chailly and the Berlin Philharmonic: the selection of critics for the best orchestra and the best conductor in the world., September 3, 2015.