A portrait in seven chief conductors

The Concertgebouworkest

Performers

Daniele Gatti

Mariss Jansons

Bernard Haitink

Riccardo Chailly

Eduard van Beinum

Willem Mengelberg chef-dirigent 1895-1945

Willem Kes chef-dirigent 1888-1895

Description

The sound of the Concertgebouworkest is unique. How has it developed and maintained its musical identity? How have the individual seven chief conductors given the musical heritage a new, personal identity?

In the late 19th century, classical music was not thriving in the Netherlands. The capital, Amsterdam, had no great orchestra like Berlin and Vienna. Until Johannes Brahms turned the tide.

In 1884, when conducting his Third Symphony in Amsterdam the musicians' level disappointed him. When leaving he said he would only return to Amsterdam for a good meal and a drink.

The regents could hardly let that humiliation go unheeded. This small country that sails all over the world that builds dykes to keep the water out and produces great painters built a real concert hall. One of the best in the world: The Concertgebouw.

It opened in 1888 and the temple got its own orchestra: The Concertgebouworkest.

In its more than 130 years the Concertgebouworkest has had only seven chief conductors: Willem Kes, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons and Daniele Gatti.

The sound of the Concertgebouworkest is unique. How has it developed and maintained its musical identity?

How have the individual seven chief conductors given the musical heritage
a new, personal identity?

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