Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Royal Concertgebouw OrchestraRiccardo Chailly made his debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1985, and was elected that year as their next chief conductor to succeed Haitink.[6] As the first non-Dutchman to hold the post, Chailly served as chief conductor from 1988 to 2004. His recordings with the orchestra include a complete Mahler and Brahms symphony cycle, several of the Bruckner symphonies. Besides he was a strong advocate of modern music and recorded shorter works of Shostakovich, the complete Kammermusiken of Paul Hindemith, and the orchestral works of Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen and Edgard Varèse. After his departure in 2004, Chailly was named Conductor Emeritus of the KCO.

The Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons made his KCO debut in 1988 and was elected chief conductor on 22 October 2002.[7] His tenure officially began on 1 September 2004, with an initial contract of 3 years. Premières during Janson’s tenure have included Hans Werner Henze’s Sebastian im Traum, a KCO co-commission. As of 2010, Jansons continues as chief conductor of the orchestra.

The orchestra enjoyed a close relationship with Gustav Mahler and championed many of his symphonies, with an especially worthy festival of his music being the 1920 Mahler Festival. Other conductors who worked closely with the Concertgebouw Orchestra included Pierre Monteux, Eugen Jochum, George Szell and Kirill Kondrashin, who was the Permanent Guest Conductor from 1978 to 1981. More recently, Nikolaus Harnoncourt was named Honorary Guest Conductor of the KCO in 2000.

Another factor in creating the orchestra’s distinct character is that the Concertgebouw Orchestra has had only six chief conductors, setting it apart from orchestras of similar age and caliber. With what has been described as its ‘velvet’ strings, the ‘golden’ brass sound and the exceptional timbre of the woodwinds, sometimes described as ‘typically Dutch’, the Concertgebouw Orchestra has won itself a place amongst the small, select group of top world orchestras.[9] The nearly one thousand recordings that the orchestra has to its credit have also contributed to this reputation. The orchestra also serves as one of the opera orchestras for productions at De Nederlandse Opera.

Jan Raes is the orchestra’s executive director, as of 1 December 2008. Raes succeeded Jan Willem Loot, who retired in November 2008. Past artistic directors of the Concertgebouw Orchestra have included Rudolf Mengelberg, Marius Flothuis (1955–1974), and Peter Ruzicka. The present head of artistic administration for the orchestra is Joel Ethan Fried.


Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Wikipedia