Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam

Press

Press overview

New season to feature Daniele Gatti and three former chief conductors

27 February 2017

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2017–18: peace, respect and creativity

In its 2017–18 season, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra looks towards a future in which peace, respect and creativity are shared by all, as reflected in the special concert series War and Peace and the continuation of RCO meets Europe, the orchestra’s tour of all twenty-eight EU member states. Particularly topical in the themes it addresses, this season sees chief conductor Daniele Gatti prominently at the orchestra’s helm, with his predecessors Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly and Mariss Jansons all making guest appearances.

War and Peace

In 2018, it will have been 100 years since the end of the First World War. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is taking this opportunity to programme a number of concerts in April dedicated to the theme of War and Peace. In music from three historical periods of war and political unrest, resistance and the hope of a more tolerant future are given pride of place. Besides Prokofiev’s Suite from War and Peace, works by Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Kodály, Honegger, Hartmann and Escher also feature.

Side by Side

RCO meets Europe, the orchestra’s tour of all twenty-eight EU members states, kicked off in the 2016–17 season. Indeed, developments on the world stage have since made RCO meets Europe and its message all the more urgent. The unique Side by Side project, in particular, has garnered great international acclaim. In each EU country it visits, the orchestra performs one work on the programme with a youth orchestra from that country, thus forging ties with young musicians from every corner of Europe. The orchestra has now performed ten successful Side by Side concerts.

In addition to concerts in the EU, chief conductor Daniele Gatti is leading the orchestra on tours of the United States and Asia (Japan and Korea).

Conductors

Daniele Gatti is putting his own unmistakable stamp on the season, conducting concerts in nearly all the subscription series and giving a conducting masterclass. In addition to Brahms’s Symphony No. 1, Mahler’s First and Fourth Symphonies and Bruckner’s Ninth, he will be leading the orchestra in music by the Dutch composers Escher and Bosmans, and in the world premiere of a work by the French composer Guillaume Connesson.

Honorary conductor Bernard Haitink will be making a guest appearance, conducting Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. Conductor emeritus Riccardo Chailly leads the orchestra in compositions by Stravinsky and Shostakovich. Mariss Jansons, now also conductor emeritus, will be conducting works by Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich. Other beloved conductors the orchestra is delighted to welcome back in its 2017–18 season include Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Trevor Pinnock, Franz Welser-Möst and Jaap van Zweden.

Kristian Bezuidenhout, James Gaffigan, Stanislav Kochanovsky, Andrew Manze, Matthias Pintscher and Lahav Shani will all be leading the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for the first time.

Opening Night

The season gets off to a festive start with RCO Opening Night. After the audience enjoys an elegant dinner buffet, the illustrious soprano Diana Damrau will be making her first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra singing beloved arias by Mozart. Conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock, the concert also features instrumental works by Mozart, Dvořák’s sunny Eighth Symphony and a few musical surprises to boot.

Artist in residence: Eva-Maria Westbroek

The season gets off to a festive start with RCO Opening Night. After the audience enjoys an elegant dinner buffet, the illustrious soprano Diana Damrau will be making her first appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra singing beloved arias by Mozart. Conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock, the concert also features instrumental works by Mozart, Dvořák’s sunny Eighth Symphony and a few musical surprises to boot.

Horizon

One of the concerts based on the War and Peace theme is part of the innovative Horizon series. This season, the Horizon format stands out even more sharply: in these concerts, over an hour of compelling orchestral music is interwoven with a special presentation in collaboration with a cultural partner, all followed by the Entrée Late Night. In addition to War and Peace, presented in association with the Dutch Resistance Museum, Horizon is focusing on the themes of Multiversum - a cosmic concert conducted by Peter Eötvös - and Impressions of Japan under the direction of Matthias Pintscher. These concerts also feature Dutch premieres of works by both composers conducting the orchestra.

The orchestra is premiering works by Connesson, Eötvös and Tüür. There are also Dutch premieres of compositions by Hillborg, Pintscher, Penderecki and a commissioned work by Widmann.

Talentontwikkeling

As the Side by Side initiative clearly shows, talent development is one of the orchestra’s main priorities. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy successfully moulds young, talented orchestral musicians. In his annual masterclass, Daniele Gatti also shares his knowledge with up-and-coming conductors.

New audience members

Another way the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is investing in the future is by attracting new audience members. The orchestra gives two exciting Family Concert programmes each season for young music lovers about six years and older. This season, one of these is being given in the Recital Hall. The orchestra’s educational apps, developed in collaboration with Follow a Muse, are currently in use in some 1,000 primary schools throughout the Netherlands. 

With its RCO Club Night, the orchestra hopes to attract audience members from outside the traditional setting of the concert hall. These concerts feature musicians from the orchestra playing two sets of chamber music in an intimate lounge setting at a club in Amsterdam. The orchestra will be organising two of these in its 2017–18 season, one in collaboration with artist in residence Eva-Maria Westbroek.

Aimed primarily at all music lovers who have had little or no opportunity to come and hear the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the highly popular Essentials Series is now in its fourth season. These Saturday evening concerts, hosted by the enthusiastic presenter Thomas Vanderveken, continue to attract new listeners, of whom over half are under the age of forty.

RCO House

With the vital support of its donors and corporate partners, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was able to purchase a new property in the 2016–17 season which can accommodate studios for its musicians and Academy students, an ensemble venue for chamber music and education initiatives, and its office staff: RCO House. We hope to open RCO House at the end of 2018, when the orchestra will be celebrating its 130th anniversary.

Season 2017/2018

Brochure 2017/2018

Concert calender

Share: