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The Royal Concertgebouworkest (RCO) was founded in 1888 as the Concertgebouworkest for the opening of Amsterdam’s concert hall; it officially received the appellation “Royal” to mark its 100th anniversary. Willem Kees was the first chief conductor and in 1895 passed the reins on to Willem Mengelberg. For a half-century, Mengelberg influenced the orchestra and established its great Mahler tradition. Eduard van Beinum was the first to helm the RCO following the Second World War and was succeeded by Bernard Haitink (1961–1988), Riccardo Chailly (1988–2004), Mariss Jansons (2004–2015), and Daniele Gatti (2016–2018). Leading composers such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss conducted the RCO on more than one occasion. The orchestra still regularly collaborates with contemporary composers and premieres their works. In addition to some 90 concerts in Amsterdam, the RCO gives 40 concerts at leading concert halls throughout the world each year and will tour to Japan and Taiwan this November. In the 2019-20 season, the violist Tabea Zimmermann will serve as artist-in-residence and the British composer and conductor Thomas Adès will play a major role with a six-part concert series. More than 1,100 recordings on LP, CD, and DVD to date, which since 2004 have been released on its in-house label, document the RCO’s artistic achievements. The orchestra is also committed to developing talent through the RCO Academy, collaborative efforts with other institutions, and Young, a youth orchestra for “hidden talent” from all over Europe launched in 2019. The RCO is co-funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science; the Municipality of Amsterdam; sponsors; funds; and numerous donors all over the world. The largest portion of its income is generated by proceeds from the concerts it gives in and outside the Netherlands.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 3 September 1972 in a program of music by Stravinsky and Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony under Bernard Haitink.
Further information: www.concertgebouw.nl