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Willem
Mengelberg

chief conductor 1895-1945

Willem Mengelberg succeeded Kes as principal conductor in 1895. For fifty years Mengelberg stood at the helm of the orchestra and was of great significance for music culture in the Netherlands. Strong bonds were forged with eminent composers such as Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky, all of whom conducted the Concertgebouworkest more than once. Thanks to Mengelberg the Concertgebouworkest joined the highest ranks of the international music world.

As important as Willem Mengelberg was as a musician, as a man he was flawed; too often he chose to collaborate with the occupier during the Second World War. After the war he was dismissed and forced to give up conducting for life.

Willem Mengelberg succeeded Kes as principal conductor in 1895. For fifty years Mengelberg stood at the helm of the orchestra and was of great significance for music culture in the Netherlands. Strong bonds were forged with eminent composers such as Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky, all of whom conducted the Concertgebouworkest more than once. Thanks to Mengelberg the Concertgebouworkest joined the highest ranks of the international music world.

As important as Willem Mengelberg was as a musician, as a man he was flawed; too often he chose to collaborate with the occupier during the Second World War. After the war he was dismissed and forced to give up conducting for life.