The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2022–23

Connecting with diverse audiences through new concert formats 
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest image: Simon van Boxtel
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest image: Simon van Boxtel
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s 2022–23 season is all about connections. More than ever before, the orchestra’s ambition is to inspire music lovers and all those interested from every conceivable background and age group with the beauty, richness and diversity of symphonic music.
 
New concert formats and special venues
Following its successful season opener on Dam Square in 2021, the orchestra aims to organise a unique live event for one and all at a special location, Opening Night. At another moment during the season, the orchestra is presenting a festive Annual Gala for its loyal relations, replacing what used to be called Opening Night until 2019.
 
In addition, the Concertgebouw Orchestra is offering a number of new listening experiences to diverse audiences, such as a concert where musicians and audience members will be surrounding honorary guest conductor Iván Fischer in the hall together. The Essentials Series, for those with little experience listening to orchestral music, has proved so successful that it has been extended to include six compact concerts, each with a quirky introduction, from which subscribers can pick and choose. The orchestra is assuming the organisation of Bijlmer Klassiek, a series of small-scale crossover concerts at the Bijlmer Parktheater. For the youngest listeners, the orchestra is developing more and more educational activities, including School Concerts – performed in the Main Hall of the Concertgebouw starting from 2023 – and Children’s Concerts
 
The Concertgebouw Orchestra is looking forward to its residency at the Philharmonie in Essen. It will also be performing throughout Europe – in such prestigious halls as the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Philharmonie in Paris and the Barbican Centre in London.
 
Collaborations of the highest calibre
The orchestra is further intensifying its collaborations with a number of renowned conductors. Riccardo Chailly is returning with works by Rachmaninoff, and Daniel Harding is leading the orchestra in Amsterdam and on an extensive tour of Europe. Klaus Mäkelä, who has made several guest appearances with the orchestra since his astounding Concertgebouw Orchestra debut in 2020, is conducting four different programmes. Kirill Petrenko is returning to the Concertgebouw Orchestra ten years since his first appearance. The Brahms cycle undertaken in 2021 with Sir John Eliot Gardiner concludes with concerts in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Luxembourg, as well as CD recordings for Deutsche Grammophon.
 
Pierre Audi is involved as the orchestra’s creative partner in the performance of Handel’s opera Acis and Galatea in concert version, the world premiere of Tan Dun’s Requiem for Nature at the Gashouder, and three concerts – including an atmospheric Late Night programme – conducted by Barbara Hannigan. She will be conducting the orchestra for the first time, as will Leonardo García Alarcón, John Butt, Nuno Coelho, Teodor Currentzis, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and Joana Mallwitz.

In his capacity as artist in residence, the innovative clarinettist Martin Fröst will be giving multiple performances with the Concertgebouw Orchestra on symphonic concerts and in chamber music settings. Other soloists appearing this season include the soprano Anna Prohaska, cellist Sol Gabetta, the pianists Kirill Gerstein, Stephen Hough, Alexander Melnikov and Víkingur Ólafsson, and the violinists Lisa Batiashvili, Vilde Frang, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos and Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The orchestra is also looking forward to the first appearances of artists including the sopranos Lilian Farahani and Aphrodite Patoulidou, baritone Thomas Oliemans and pianist Gabriela Montero.
 
The Concertgebouw Orchestra will continue to work with those Russian artists who do not stand with Putin, having neither voiced nor otherwise demonstrated their support of the aggressive actions the Russian government has taken.
 
Repertoire
Naturally, iconic masterpieces like Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Fifth and Schubert’s Ninth Symphony (‘Great’) have been programmed. The orchestra will also be performing Mahler’s Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Symphonies, while Herbert Blomstedt is leading it in Bruckner’s Fourth. Jaap van Zweden is conducting Act I of Wagner’s Die Walküre in concert version, Paavo Järvi is leading the orchestra in Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, and Santtu-Matias Rouvali is performing Shostakovich’s Fifteenth Symphony. Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin comes to life with the lifelike dance puppets of the Duda Paiva Company. Highlights of more recent repertoire include György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto, Kaija Saariaho’s Orion and Lonely Child by Claude Vivier.

New repertoire is part and parcel of the concert programming. Indeed, the Concertgebouw Orchestra is performing six newly commissioned works this season. Martin Fröst will be performing as soloist in a new clarinet concerto by Anna Clyne and will be sharing the stage with violinist Janine Jansen in the Dutch premiere of Sally Beamish’s Distans. Tan Dun is conducting the belated world premiere of his Requiem for Nature for orchestra, chorus and soloists from China, Tibet and Mongolia. Thomas Adès and Matthias Pintscher will also be conducting programmes featuring their own works. The orchestra is further performing new and recent compositions by Bernd Richard Deutsch, Detlev Glanert, Veronika Krausas, Jimmy López, Alexander Raskatov, Nina Šenk, Raminta Šerkšnytė, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Rick van Veldhuizen.

Young talent
Talent development is essential to safeguarding the future of classical music in general, and that of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in particular. The Academy of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, which has been a source of inspiration for twenty years, is now offering places to twelve talented young musicians to be part of the orchestra for a whole concert season. The unique international summer project Concertgebouworkest Young, which caters for hidden talent aged fourteen to eighteen, is being held for the third time, culminating in concerts at the Concertgebouw and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg under the direction of Gustavo Gimeno and featuring violinist Isabelle Faust.
 
Support
The orchestra’s collaboration with Pierre Audi as its creative partner is made possible in part by Ammodo. Other artistic productions are supported by private donors and commemorative funds.
 
The Academy is fully funded by Foundation Concertgebouworkest, which sources donations from such entities as Ammodo, the Dutch Masters Foundation, the Swiss Friends of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Don Quixote Foundation, De Salon, private donors and a number of commemorative funds.
 
Concertgebouworkest Young would not be possible without the generous support of private individuals, donor-advised funds and corporate partners.