Kerem Hasan, assistant conductor to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s honorary conductor Bernard Haitink, takes over today’s concert. During the applause after Friday’s concert, Bernard Haitink fell on the stage for which he now needs to take his rest. He is doing well under the circumstances.
Bernard Haitink, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Gustav Mahler are a trinity whose glory never fades. Honorary conductor Haitink, under whose tenure as chief conductor the orchestra first achieved international fame, is praised for his singular ability to create long, dramatic overarching climaxes, among other things. This ability is indeed crucial when it comes to Mahler’s emotionally charged ‘narratives’. Maestro Haitink has led the Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Ninth Symphony several times, and at long intervals, over the last half century. This performance is highly anticipated, probably more so than on previous occasions. It is precisely this symphony, the last Mahler completed, which is sure to shine in the hands of a mature conductor: in this grandiose, tragic music, the composer looks back on his life.