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An orchestral treat for ESCRS delegates

Colin Kerr

Posted: Friday, October 2, 2020


ESCRS delegates are in for a musical treat on Saturday October 3rd when the world-famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will play a special concert featuring the music of the renowned American composer George Gershwin.
The orchestra was founded in 1888 and on the occasion of its 100th anniversary in 1988, the orchestra officially received the appellation ‘Royal’ from Her Majety The Queen, Beatrix Of The Netherlands.
The orchestra is based in Amsterdam, and has been acclaimed as one of the very best orchestras in the world. Critics have praised its unique sound. The 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.
The orchestra has had only seven chief conductors since 1888 and features 121 musicians from 25 different countries. The orchestra is also truly a European orchestra and between 2016 and 2018, it visited all 28 member states of the European Union in the course of two and a half seasons as part of the “RCO meets Europe” concert tour.
In 2008 British music magazine The Gramophone declared the Royal Concertgebouw as the best orchestra in the world. The magazine asked renowned international music critics to rank the world’s twenty best orchestras and they placed the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at the top of the list.
Mariss Jansons, chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw from 2004 – 2015 acknowledging the prestigious award stated: “
“Standing on the podium before the musicians, I always appreciate just how special they are. Their approach to music-making goes far beyond questions of sound; it is so profound, so deep, so noble. They create with you a unique atmosphere; they make you feel that you have entered a very special world. They have an understanding of each composer like an actor understands his roles – they interpret, and shift into the appropriate character. It comes from a hunger to comprehend what is behind the notes. Notes are after all only signs, and if you only follow the signs, they won’t get you there. Yet very few orchestras in the world have that quality of knowing the depth and the character of the music. We have many technically good orchestras these days. But this musicial intelligence, allied to the orchestra’s very personal sound, makes the Concertgebouw stand out.”
Tonight’s concert, which will be broadcast live to delegates on Saturday October 3 at 7.30, will feature some of Gershwin’s most popular compositions including “Rhapsody In Blue”.
The combination of the Royal Concertgebouw and the music of Gershwin will guarantee delegates a musical feast so this is a concert not to be missed so make sure to visit ESCRS Virtual Platform, Room 2 at 19.30 CET on Saturday October 3.
* This article uses material from the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia, the RCO website www.concertgebouworkest.nl/en/concertgebouworkest and The Gramophone website www.gramophone.co.uk/features/article/the-world-s-greatest-orchestras