The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is one of the very best orchestras in the world. Time and time again, critics have lauded its unique sound, which clearly stands out among thousands of others. The RCO’s string section has been called ‘velvety’, the sound of the brass ‘golden’, the timbre of the woodwinds ‘distinctly personal’ and the percussion have an international reputation.
While the exceptional acoustics of the Concertgebouw, play an important role in this respect, the influence exerted on the orchestra by its chief conductors, of whom there have been only seven since the orchestra was founded in 1888, is also important. As is that of the musicians themselves.
RCO Amsterdam is made up of 120 players hailing from over 20 countries. Despite its size, the orchestra actually functions more like a chamber orchestra.This requires both a high individual calibre and a great sense of mutual trust and confidence. The atmosphere onstage, the orchestra’s roots in Amsterdam and the organisational structure
all converge to create exactly the right circumstances for exceptional music-making. The musicians are allowed to shine, yet still share responsibility for the collective. They also share the aim of achieving and delivering the highest level of quality at every performance, an ambition that goes far beyond simply playing all the notes perfectly. This is how magic is made and a concert becomes a truly unforgettable experience.