Open air concert kicks off a flourishing cultural season
Opening Night 2021, the free open-air concert on Dam Square with which the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest kicked off the 2021/22 season on Friday evening, September 10, was particularly successful. After a year and a half with only a few concerts, musicians and audiences came together in the heart of Amsterdam where music was spilling out into the streets for almost 3,000 people on Dam Square and many thousands of enthusiasts via radio and television.
The atmospheric concert in a spectacular location in the heart of the capital was a gift from the Concertgebouworkest to Amsterdam and to all music lovers in the Netherlands and worldwide. The orchestra musicians and concertgoers on Dam Square, including a very diverse group of people who was invited by the city of Amsterdam, brought enthusiastic and united the city back to life. The concert ended with a spectacular fireworks display.
The concert under the baton of conductor Daniel Harding and with soloist Leonidas Kavakos was broadcast live on Dutch radio and television. On Saturday September 11, the concert was broadcast internationally by Mezzo.
The previous time the Concertgebouworkest performed on Dam Square was on 27 August 2006. The orchestra played Mahler's First Symphony under the baton of Mariss Jansons.
Dominik Winterling, the Concertgebouworkest's managing director: 'With this opening concert we wanted to do something for the people who have suffered in times of corona. That has succeeded; we are very grateful to the public and all partners and collaborators that this Opening Night went so smoothly and successfully. It gives hope for a thriving cultural season.'
Opening Night has been the Concertgebouworkest' festive season opener since 2015. Friday evening's event was the first Opening Night outside the Main Hall of The Concertgebouw. Of course, the applicable corona measures were followed - the open-air concert could only be visited with proof of vaccination or a recent negative corona test.
Opening Night 2021 was made possible with the generous support of Booking.com.
The programme was inspired by the noise and life in the city. The musical journey started with Chase by Dutchman Joey Roukens, which is inspired by a chase scene in the streets of Paris. After works by Richard Strauss, Niccolò Paganini and Giuseppe Verdi, Paris returned through the music of Lili Boulanger and Maurice Ravel and George Gershwin's An American in Paris. Violinist Leonidas Kavakos took care of the virtuoso solo parts of Paganini's La campanella and Ravel's Tzigane and the romantic simplicity of Fritz Kreisler's Liebesleid. The latter piece sounded as an encore, as did the Intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni's opera Cavalleria rusticana and the finale of Gioacchino Rossini's Overture 'Guillaume Tell'.
The concert's programme on Spotify