In 1882 the decision to build the concert hall was made in the Odeon theater hall. Construction began in 1883 on the property owned by the municipality of Nieuwer-Amstel, which was then outside Amsterdam. It was not until 1896 that the quarter was incorporated into Amsterdam. The Concertgebouw was opened on April 11, 1888 with 120 musicians, 500 choir singers and works by Wagner, Handel, Bach and Beethoven. There are four halls. The large hall has 1,962 seats, the small hall 437 , which was restored in 2004 , and there is also the choir hall and the hall of mirrors. The building and orchestra were connected to one another until 1952; since then there have been separate organizations. For its 125th anniversary in 2013, Queen Beatrix awarded the Concertgebouw the title of Koninklijk ('Royal').
The architect Adolf Leonard van Gendt was inspired by the New Gewandhaus , which opened in Leipzig in 1884 . In the interior, however, features of Art Nouveau can also be seen, including a. in the chairs designed by the Belgian architect Victor Horta .
The Concertgebouw is also the most important venue for classical music in the Netherlands because of its very good acoustics (“ shoe box principle ”) and - alongside the Boston Symphony Hall , the Great Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, the Berlin Philharmonie and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris - one of the best in the world.
The great hall is 44 m long and 27.5 m wide with a ceiling height of 17.50 m. It is particularly suitable for works of the Romantic period and chamber music as well as for solo performances. At the front is the concert organ by the organ builder Michaël Maarschalkerweerd.
Behind the Great Hall is a smaller oval hall, the Small Hall , on the upper floor . It is 20 m long and 15 m wide. It is a more intimate room especially for chamber music. All around are the Felix de Nobel foyer, the French foyer, the circulation (since 1988) and the vestibule. The music hall of Felix Meritis on the Kaisergracht, built a hundred years earlier, served as a model.
Hall of Mirrors
Behind the Great Hall is the so-called Mirror Hall on the ground floor, directly below the Small Hall, with the same floor plan. Until 1925, there was access to the garden behind the concert building from here. After the garden property was sold to the city of Amsterdam, the view was no longer so beautiful and the window panes in the doors were replaced by mirrors. It has crystal chandeliers and pillars to support the small hall. The hall of mirrors is used multifunctionally as a café and foyer as well as a reception room for special guests. Radio broadcasts also come from the hall of mirrors.
The organ was built in 1890 by the organ builder Michael Maarschalkerweerd from Utrecht and was last restored in the years 1990–1993 by the Flentrop organ builder . The instrument has 60 registers on three manuals and a pedal.
- Coupling: II / I (also as sub-octave coupling), III / I, III / II, I / P, II / P, III / P
- Sjoerd van den Berg (Ed.): Van boegbeeld tot kroonjuweel. 20 years Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest. Uitgeverij Thot, Bussum 2008, ISBN 978-90-6868-487-2 .
- Concertgebouw Amsterdam website (Dutch, English; contains recordings of some concerts that can be accessed up to three days after the performance)
- Information on the organ