Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam

Top Talent

The orchestra helps develop talent through its own Orchestra Academy and by organising masterclasses and collaborative efforts with other musical institutions, including the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the Learning Orchestra and the Concertgebouw.


Each season, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy offers several young, exceptionally talented musicians a chance to take part in productions while receiving instruction and guidance from members of the orchestra. These young Academy students also team up with RCO musicians to give chamber music concerts at a number of locations.

In addition, Academy students take lessons, participate in workshops and receive training. Since its inception in 2003, the Orchestra Academy has produced many successful professional musicians. Most play in professional orchestras; indeed, no fewer than six former Academy students are now fully fledged members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

De academists of the 2017/2018 season
  • Caspar Horsch, violin
  • Ana Nedobora, violin
  • Elisa Karen Tavenier, viola
  • Clément Peigné, cello
  • José Moreira, double bass
  • Pedro Freire, trumpet
  • Daniel Quiles Cascant, trombone
Studenten RCO Orkestacademie 2016-2017 © Renske Vrolijk
Students of the Orchestra Academy 2016/2017. Left to right: Liselotte Schricke, flute; Klara Wincor, cello; Carlos Ferreira, clarinet; Koen Stapert, violin;Elise Besemer, violin; Oriane Pocard Kieny, viola; Felix Lashmar, double bass (© Renske Vrolijk)


Academist van seizoen 2015-2016 Boris Nedialkov speelt mee met het orkest

During the academy course the academists play up to twelve programmes with the orchestra, conducted by world renowned conductors and under the guidance of mentors from the orchestra. The academists play chamber music with members of the orchestra and students of the Music Chapel Queen Elisabeth. Furthermore, the academists receive:

  • 20 private lessons from the concert masters, principals and other members of the orchestra
  • masterclass by the artist-in-residence of the orchestra
  • 2 audition training sessions
  • 5 sessions mental training
  • Alexander technique/Feldenkrais Method/Yoga
  • education (creative learning), educational concerts at schools
  • improvisation
  • cooperation with a composer

During the academic year (September to June) the academists receive a monthly allowance. The academists reside in Amsterdam. Academy students, who have completed the course successfully, are given priority at Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra auditions for a three-year period.


A South African students during a rehearsal with members of the Orchestra Academy

In the cities where the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has residencies (London, Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt) and in countries which are home to RCO societies of friends (Switzerland, the UK, France, Belgium and the US), members of the orchestra give individual masterclasses to music students. RCO musicians also give masterclasses to youth orchestras while on tour.

During its 2013 world tour, for instance, the RCO established strong educational ties with the KwaZulu-Natal Symphony Orchestra’s young musicians programme.


Young conductors

Young conductor Jiří Rožeň during the conducting masterclass 2017 on the rostrum with chief conductor Daniele Gatti (photo: mladen pikulic)
Young conductor Jiří Rožeň during the conducting masterclass 2017 on the rostrum with chief conductor Daniele Gatti (Photo: Mladen Pikulic)

Finally, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra offers a number of special opportunities to young conductors.

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra organises a masterclass for young conductors. In 2012, Mariss Jansons shared his expertise with conducting students from Hungary, China and the UK: Gergely Madaras, Yu Lu and Alexander Prior. On Friday, 3 April 2015, Valery Gergiev worked with the RCO to help three young conducting talents further their careers: Joshua Weilerstein, Ben Gernon and Zaurbek Gugkaev. In June 2017 Daniele Gatti tutored four young conductors: Sergey Neller, Valentina Peleggi, Jiří Rožeň and Dawid Runtz.

The next mastclass takes place at 25 and 26 June 2018 with Daniele Gatti as tutor.

Watch the Masterclasses