Start planning and enter the dates in your diary. Voted by the critics of Gramophone magazine in 2008 as the world’s best orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO), conducted by its Chief Conductor Maris Jansons, performs at the Sydney Opera House in November/December this year.
The orchestra will make it’s Australian debut as part of an intercontinental tour which celebrates its 125th anniversary. The orchestra was founded in Amsterdam in 1888. It’s most notable conductor was Willem Mengelberg whose tenure lasted an extraordinary 50 years from 1895. Subsequent Chief Conductors have included Bernard Haitink and Ricardo Chailly. Former Chief Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the Sydney Symphony Edo de Waart, along with Pierre Monteaux and Bruno Walter have served as ‘second conductors’ with the RCO.
“In rehearsals the players talk with you on a fascinating level about interpretation. So often rehearsals can be simply about organisation: you are expected to come in and say only, “Here a little louder, here a little softer,” which is all very primitive. The Concertgebouw players expect something extra from you, an interesting interpretation, illuminating ideas, a fantasy. If you offer them that, they play with a passion as though for a new piece rather than a work they have played a million times before. This is what the players want – that higher level, when you forget about the notes and play the image, the idea.” Maris Jansons, Gramophone, 2008.
More on the RCO, Maris Jansons and guest pianist Yefim Bronfman through the year. For now, here’s some useful information:
Sydney season details
Tickets on sale to the public from 23 February at
Program 1: ‘LEGENDARY’ (repeated in Sydney)
Wagenaar Ouverture De getemde feeks (The Taming of the Shrew)
Stravinsky The Firebird Suite
Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5
Program 2: ‘HEROIC’
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 3 in C Minor , Guest Pianist: Yefim Bronfman
Strauss Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)