Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam


The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Switzerland

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is considered to be one of the world’s best symphony orchestras. Founded in 1888, it was granted the designation “Royal” on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. Its patron is Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. The orchestra encompasses 120 permanent musicians with over twenty different nationalities and has its seat in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, famous for its extraordinary acoustics.

For many years the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has performed to critical acclaim at the Lucerne Festival in the KKL. Swiss concertgoers have come to know and cherish the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra during these and other symphonic performances in Switzerland.

KKL Luzern exterior (photo: Peter Tollenaar))

Masterclass by Vincent Cortvrint © Peter Tollenaar/Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest

The Swiss Friends of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Freundeskreis was established in 2007 by a group of music lovers and is a non-profit association under Swiss Law. Contributions to the association are tax-exempt.

The Freundeskreis, under the patronage of eminent conductor Bernard Haitink, supports the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in various ways:

  • By enabling talented young musicians in Switzerland to participate in master classes under the guidance of musicians of the orchestra during the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras annual visit to the Lucerne Festival.
  • By supporting young Swiss exceptionally talented musicians to attend and participate in the auditions in Amsterdam of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy. This unique program offers several young outstanding musicians a chance to take part in real orchestral performances while receiving instruction and guidance from members of the orchestra for one year. The young Academy students also team up with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra musicians to give chamber music concerts at a number of locations.
  • By aiding the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in realizing its artistic ambitions through the purchase of high quality instruments, which remain in possession of the orchestra, for use by the orchestra’s musicians.
  • By increasing awareness of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Swiss concertgoers. This is done by hosting events, for instance at the KKL Lucerne Festival, where members of the Freundeskreis can mingle with the members of the orchestra after the concert. Members of the orchestra also participate at exclusive performances aimed at raising funds for talented Swiss musicians.

Membership of the Swiss Friends

The annual minimum donation for an individual member (valid for a couple) is CHF 1’000 and for corporate members starting from CHF 5’000. A lifetime membership is available for a donation of CHF 15’000. A membership in the Freundeskreis is available to individuals and corporations alike and offers exclusive privileges:

  • Individual members can participate in exclusive yearly cultural trips to Amsterdam. There they can enjoy a concert of the highest quality from specially reserved seats at the unique Concertgebouw and have the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of this cultural institution and interact personally with members of the orchestra. The trip also encompasses other cultural highlights of the Netherlands, such as museums, and allows members to get to know each other better. Furthermore members have access to events the Freundeskreis organizes apart from visits to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
  • Corporate members can additionally count on the support of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra if they would like to book individual members of the orchestra for an exclusive client event of their company in Switzerland.
  • Individual and corporate members have easier access to tickets for performances of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Switzerland and the possibility to meet with the musicians.


Members and non-members can achieve highly effective visibility of their name as sponsors of elite events, such as concerts of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, performances of individual musicians of the orchestra, one or more seats in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy, fundraising events or events to promote young Swiss talents. Members and non-members also have the opportunity to donate an instrument for usage by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and thus associate a company or a product with an individual instrument played by the orchestra.


Mr Bernard Haitink, Honorary Conductor Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


Mr Jop Wehmeijer, President
Mr Tom Berkhout
Mr John-Patrick Broekhuijsen
Mr Fidelis Götz
Mrs Jane Enny van Lambalgen
Mrs Isabella zu Pappenheim
Mr Jan Raes (managing director RCO)

Patronage Committee

Mr Charles Zijderveldt, Former Honorary Consul-general of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Zürich, President
Dr Urs Breiter, Ambassador of Switzerland in the Netherlands
Mrs Anne Luwema, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Switzerland
Mrs Corine Mauch, Mayor of Zürich
Mrs Ruth Koetser, Koetser Gallery Zürich
Mr Mischa Damev, Artistic and Managing Director Musik Migros Genossenschafts-Bund
Mrs Aleid de Jong van Coevorden, Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Geneva

Regional contact

Zürich/Eastern Switzerland

Mrs Isabella zu Pappenheim
Mrs Brigitte Wijler

Western Switzerland

Mr John-Patrick
Mrs Ruth Koetser


Javastrasse 21, CH-8604 Hegnau
Phone +41 764 207 882


J.Safra Sarasin & Cie AG
Bleicherweg 1/Paradeplatz, Postfach 2123, CH-8022 Zürich
Account Number: 6.00594.9 4000
IBAN: CH60 0875 0060 0594 9400 0