The Concertgebouworkest is a Dutch Symphony Orchestra of international renown. Founded in 1888 it was granted the designation ‘Royal’ on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. The orchestra accounts for 120 permanent members and has its seat in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, known for its extraordinary acoustics. Patron of the orchestra is Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.

The Concertgebouworkest is considered as one of the world’s best symphony orchestras recognized amongst others for its interpretation of Mahler and Bruckner, which make up a fixed part of the orchestra’s repertoire. The development of the orchestra was sustainably shaped thru the fact that only a few conductors, such as Willem Mengelberg and Bernard Haitink, governed it.

The Concertgebouworkest is cherished in Switzerland via its traditional annual concert during the Lucerne Festival in the Kunst & Kulturzentrum Luzern (KKL) in Lucerne.


Trompettists of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (photo: Peter Tollenaar)
Trompettists of the Concertgebouworkest: Bert Langenkamp, Jacco Groenendijk, Miroslav Petkov and Omar Tomasoni (photo: Peter Tollenaar)


Masterclass door Vincent Cortvrint © Peter Tollenaar/Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest

The Freundeskreis Switzerland

The Freundeskreis Switzerland was established in 2007 and is a non-profit association under Swiss Law.

The Freundeskreis, with its prominent Patron, conductor Bernard Haitink, endeavors to support young talented Swiss musicians. In close cooperation with the orchestra, the Freundeskreis enables such musicians to participate in the annual master classes in Switzerland under the guidance of musicians of the orchestra.

For young talented musicians, who fulfill the high standards of the Concertgebouworkest, there is the opportunity to participate in courses of the Academy of the Concertgebouworkest. These courses at the Academy contain individual tuition by musicians of the Concertgebouworkest, but occasionally they could be part of the orchestra and play with them. It is a unique chance to get stage experience with an excellent orchestra like the Concertgebouworkest. The Freundeskreis supports the annual master classes in Switzerland and offers excellent young musicians grants for the academy courses.

In addition, the association supports the Concertgebouworkest in realizing its artistic ambitions through - amongst others - the purchase of high-quality instruments, which will be given to be played by musicians of the orchestra.

A further aim of the Freundeskreis is to increase awareness of the Concertgebouworkest with the Swiss audience. The Freundeskreis supports unique events like the post-concert cocktail party in Lucerne where members of the Freundeskreis can mingle with the musicians. Members of the orchestra also participate at exclusive performances aimed at raising funds for talented Swiss musicians.


Membership of the Freundeskreis is available to individuals and corporates alike and offers exclusive privileges:

Individual and young members have the opportunity to participate in exclusive cultural trips to Amsterdam or to European cities where the orchestra is playing. In Amsterdam, they can enjoy a concert of the highest quality from especially reserved seats at the exquisite Concertgebouw, for example during the Opening Night.  Additionally, members get the opportunity to have a look behind the scenes of this cultural institution and interact personally with members of the orchestra.

Corporate members can also count on the support of the Concertgebouworkest if they would like to book individual musicians of the orchestra for an exclusive client event of the company in Switzerland.

Individual, young and corporate members, will get easier access to tickets for performances of the Concertgebouworkest in Switzerland and the possibility to interact with the musicians.

All members are making a valuable contribution to the advancement of young talented musicians in Switzerland.

Membership Fee

The annual membership fee for individual members (including partners) starts at CHF 1,000 and for young members (£40 years) at CHF 500. For corporate members, the fee starts at CHF 5,000. A lifetime membership is CHF 15,000. Because the Freundeskreis is a non-profit association, contributions are tax deductible.


Members and non-members can associate their name very effectively as sponsors of high-class events, such as concerts of the Concertgebouworkest, performances of individual musicians of the orchestra, fundraising events or events to promote young Swiss talents. Purchasing an instrument for usage by the Concertgebouworkest is another opportunity to associate a company or a product with the Orchestra.

RCO Opening Night conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock (photo: Milagro Elstak)
Opening Night conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock (photo: Milagro Elstak)



  • Mr. Fidelis Goetz, President
  • Mr. John-Patrick Broekhuijsen
  • Mrs. Isabella zu Pappenheim
  • Mr. Jaap Verbeek
  • Mrs. Belle van Lith
  • Mr. Jan Raes


Mr. Bernard Haitink, Honorary Conductor Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest

Patronage Committee

  • Mr. Charles Zijderveldt, Former General Consul of the Netherlands Zürich, President
  • Mr. Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, Ambassador of Switzerland in the Netherlands
  • Mrs. Anneke 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, Director Musik Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund
  • Mrs. Aleid de Jong van Coevorden, Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Geneva

Regional Contact Persons

  • Eastern Switzerland Mrs. Brigitte Wijler
  • Western Switzerland Mrs. Ruth Koetse



Freundeskreis Schweiz / Cercle d’amis Suisse Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
c/o Burki Rechtsanwälte, Rotfluhstrasse 85, 8702 Zollikon
tel +41 764 207 882
email FreundeskreisKCO@gmail.com


J. Safra Sarasin & Cie AG
Bleicherweg 1/Paradeplatz
Postfach 2123 CH-8022 Zürich
iban CH6008750060059494000
swift/bic SARACHBB