Royal visit

Her Majesty Queen Máxima and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix were guests at our concert on Friday 25 November. Afterwards, our patroness made her first acquaintance with the future Chief Conductor Klaus Mäkelä. The Queen always shows a great deal of engagement with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. “I have experienced the magic of the orchestra on many different occasions, both on stage and behind the scenes."
H.M. Queen Máxima en H.R.H. Princess Beatrix are meeting with Klaus Mäkelä after the concert - image: Eduardus Lee
H.M. Queen Máxima en H.R.H. Princess Beatrix are meeting with Klaus Mäkelä after the concert - image: Eduardus Lee

Queen Máxima has been the patroness of the Concertgebouw Orchestra since 2005, when she followed in the footsteps of Prince Claus, who had passed away three years earlier. She has taken on her role with great interest as her presence at this concert, led by Artistic Partner Klaus Mäkelä, once again demonstrates.

Amongst the musicians

Every so often the Queen pays a visit to the orchestra. We love to give her an opportunity to have a look behind the scenes and get close to the music and the musicians.

Queen Máxima and former Managing Director Jan Raes amongst the Orchestra members during a rehearsal in 2018 (photograph: Milagro Elstak).

“I treasure the memory of an official visit in April 2018”, says Queen Máxima*. 'During an Orchestra rehearsal I was allowed to sit in between the Orchestra members. It was such an enchanting experience to be surrounded by the music and to hear the different instruments playing together in a whole new way.”

Music can surprise, transport and connect us. Thanks in part to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, we realise how valuable this is for all of us!
- Her Majesty Queen Máxima

For better or for worse

In June 2020, during the corona pandemic, the King and Queen visited the Orchestra while it was recording a concert stream. From a side balcony they could see how the musicians played with conductor Ton Koopman, all keeping a distance of more than 1.5 meters. The royal couple paid this visit to show their interest and support.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima during a visit to a concert during the corona pandemic (photograph Peter Tollenaar).

Heart for music education

On 2 June 2021, Queen Máxima paid a working visit to the orchestra. The reason was an introduction to both the new board and the new building on Gabriël Metsustraat, where the orchestra has been housed since January 2019. She visited the offices and rehearsal studios, attended a video recording of a string quartet in the Amsterdam Hall, and spoke with staff members and musicians.

Koningin Máxima in gesprek met Liesbeth Bosboom (academiste 2021/2022) en Coraline Groen (academiste 2018/2019 en inmiddels violiste in het orkest) tijdens haar bezoek aan het kantoor op de Metsustraat voor een kennismaking met de nieuwe directie.
Queen Máxima in conversation with cellist Liesbeth Bosboom (academy student 2021/2022) and violinist Coraline Groen (academy student 2018/2019 and currently full Orchestra member) during her visit to the office on Gabriël Metsustraat (photo: Patrick van Emst)

The Queen was brought up to speed about the Academy of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the European youth orchestra Young and other educational activities. Music education is a topic that is very dear to the Queen: “Everyone deserves the chance to discover how beautiful it is to enjoy music and to play music together. You can’t start too young. (...). To have a top-level ensemble such as the Concertgebouw Orchestra contributing to this investment in the youngest generation is and remains vitally important!'

The Concertgebouw Orchestra as ambassador

The Concertgebouw Orchestra regularly plays a part in foreign state visits. Queen Máxima: “The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is a fantastic ambassador for the Netherlands. During my visits abroad, it often happens that people spontaneously tell me how much they admire the Orchestra and about the memorable concerts they have attended. On many different occasions I have experienced the magic of the orchestra myself, both in front of and behind the scenes.”

April 2021: The second day of the state visit to Germany was concluded by the King and Queen attending a concert at the Konzerthaus in Berlin. The Concertgebouw Orchestra played with conductor Iván Fischer, and with violinist Sylvia Huang as soloist (photograph: ANP / Sem van der Wal)

* From a contribution by Her Majesty Queen Máxima in L'art pour l'autre, Jan Raes over 11 jaar Concertgebouworkest (Jan Raes about 11 years with the Concertgebouw Orchestra) (December 2019).