Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam


Press overview

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s RCO Opening Night with star soprano Diana Damrau

07 July 2017

Festive opening to the new concert season on Thursday, 14 September.

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is kicking off its new concert season with its festive RCO Opening Night on Thursday, 14 September. The evening also marks the German star soprano Diana Damrau’s first-ever appearance with the RCO. At the orchestra’s helm is conductor Thomas Hengelbrock. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who is the orchestra's patron, will be present.

Season opener

RCO Opening Night, a festive concert preceded by a stylish dinner launching the new season, is a tradition the orchestra began two years ago to great acclaim. Of the highest international calibre, the event also gives the orchestra’s friends (old and new alike), associates and other music lovers the chance to meet one another and enjoy an exclusive dinner buffet. After the concert, members of the orchestra will be mixing and mingling with the audience. Foreign guests will include many of the orchestra’s Global Friends, members of international societies of friends of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Proceeds to fund talent development

The proceeds of the evening will go to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy, which trains young, talented orchestral musicians and is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary in the 2017–18 season. Several new Academy students will also be performing in the orchestra this evening.


Diana Damrau will be singing well-loved Mozart arias on RCO Opening Night. In addition, the programme features a number of other, orchestral, works by Mozart, as well as Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8. The orchestra also happens to have a few musical surprises up its sleeve…

Radio and television

The concert will be broadcast live in the Netherlands by AVROTROS on NPO Radio 4 and in dozens of countries outside the Netherlands on Mezzo TV.

Soloist and conductor

Diana Damrau is currently one of the brightest stars in the singers’ firmament, scoring triumphs at leading international opera houses and in the world’s most prestigious concert halls.

The German conductor Thomas Hengelbrock made his first, and widely acclaimed, appearance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the autumn of 2014, returning in March of this year to lead performances of works including the Mozart Requiem. He is chief conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Hamburg and chef associé of the Orchestre de Paris. He also conducts the Balthasar Neumann Choir & Ensemble, which he founded himself.

Damrau and Hengelbrock have sought an opportunity to collaborate for years, and this very special evening marks the fulfilment of that long-cherished dream.