Three concerts with fun introductions for the whole family
The Family Series introduces children, together with their parents or grandparents, to the world of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. It’s a world of adventure they can explore in three compelling concerts preceded by fun introductions.
The Family Series offers the perfect introduction to symphonic music for young concert-goers aged eight to sixteen. In three concerts, you can introduce your children or grandchildren to the world of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. You and the children are seated onstage behind the orchestra, where you have a good view of the musicians and conductor.
A fun introduction is given for the children’s benefit prior to the concerts. They are welcomed in the Choir Hall an hour before the concert begins and are given background information on the music performed on that particular concert. Musicians will also be on hand to talk a bit about their instruments, and the children will be given the opportunity to ask questions.
The Family Series features a number of compelling musical stories, including Richard Strauss’s Don Juan and Tod und Verklärung, which according to principal bassoonist Gustavo Núñez ‘is the most beautiful music ever composed by Strauss, still an unrivalled music storyteller’. Strauss’s success in this genre had to do with his experience writing operas. After all, Strauss, along with Alban Berg, was the greatest opera composer of the twentieth century. What a coincidence, then, that music by Alban Berg has also been programmed on the very same concert!
Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 also offer plenty to experience. The RCO will be performing both of these on the second concert in the Family Series. All good music can evoke stories, even when a composer may not have expressly had them in mind when writing the music.
This certainly applies to Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, which will be performed on the third concert, and which has been described by some as ‘nineteenth-century pop music’. The Korean maestro Myung-Whun Chung is preceding Beethoven’s Seventh with a work by the French composer Henri Dutilleux: L’arbre des songes, or the Tree of Dreams, a work which shows just how vivid a story in music can be. A melody in the violin begins, and branches outwards. As more and more new shoots sprout, they are taken over by the orchestra, which adds the most beautiful colours to them; virtuoso violinist Leonidas Kavakos decorates the branches with chains of ever faster notes. And then…