Opening Night for one and all

INTERVIEW – ‘Last year we all loved the Opening Night so much – we knew immediately that we’d do it again’ Ulrike Niehoff, Artistic Director of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, explains why the orchestra wants to make the free open-air concert a tradition.
Opening Night 2021 - podium en publiek op de Dam tijdens het concert. image: Nathan Reinds
Opening Night 2021 - podium en publiek op de Dam tijdens het concert. image: Nathan Reinds

Opening Night 9 September | Annual Gala 30 September

Ulrike: ‘Last year we wanted to play the festive concert on Dam Square as a gift to the city, and to everyone in the Netherlands through the television broadcast. We enjoyed its success and feel that this kind of special official opening of our season is a perfect way to show that we are here for everybody. Our wish is to present ourselves in a special location in the city or in the country, to the widest possible audience.

‘The reception of relations, donors and sponsors that was previously linked to Opening Night will be held with a grand Annual Gala on 30 September this year.'

Jazzy, sultry, passionate

So this 9 September, the Concertgebouw Orchestra will open the new season with a grand open-air concert again. Ulrike says that the orchestra will soon announce the wonderful location. ‘But we can already divulge that the colourful programme has something for everybody. Led by Alain Altinoglu, the orchestra is playing with two unique soloists: the Swedish clarinettist Martin Fröst, our artist in residence for the coming season, and the Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson. We’ll start off vigorously with John Adams, followed by Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G – sultry and at times jazzy, followed by a mosaic of dances for clarinet and orchestra. We close with the beloved passionate Latin sound of Bernstein’s West Side Story.’

Annual Gala

‘On 30 September, we are inviting our friends, relations, donors and sponsors to a grand Annual Gala in The Concertgebouw. The evening starts with a reception from 7.30pm and after the concert there is a fabulous afterparty until midnight. The orchestra will be playing Acis and Galatea, a very moving opera by Händel, in a beautiful mise-en-espace by Pierre Audi. Another evening to really look forward to!’

Opening Night at Dam Square, September 10th, 2021

  •                                     Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on stage (photo: Nathan Reinds)
    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on stage (photo: Nathan Reinds)
  •                                     Musicians en route to the stage (photo: Nathan Reinds)
    Musicians en route to the stage (photo: Nathan Reinds)
  •                                     Musicians en route to the stage (photo: Nathan Reinds)
    Musicians en route to the stage (photo: Nathan Reinds)
  •                                     Audience at Dam Square (photo: Jorrit Lousberg)
    Audience at Dam Square (photo: Jorrit Lousberg)
  •                                     photo: Jorrit Lousberg
    photo: Jorrit Lousberg
  •                                     photo: Jorrit Lousberg
    photo: Jorrit Lousberg
  •                                     Violinist Leonidas Kavakos and conductor Daniel Harding (photo: Jorrit Lousberg)
    Violinist Leonidas Kavakos and conductor Daniel Harding (photo: Jorrit Lousberg)
  •                                     Donductor Daniel Harding (photo: Jorrit Lousberg)
    Donductor Daniel Harding (photo: Jorrit Lousberg)
  •                                     photo: Nathan Reinds
    photo: Nathan Reinds
  •                                     photo: Nathan Reinds
    photo: Nathan Reinds
  •                                     photo: Nathan Reinds
    photo: Nathan Reinds
  •                                     Fireworks (photo: Nathan Reinds)
    Fireworks (photo: Nathan Reinds)