Concertgebouw Christmas Matinée
Tuesday, December 25 2007, 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
One of Amsterdam's immutable traditions is the Christmas matinée concert given by the Royal Concertgebouw in the famous hall after which it is named. This year Mariss Jansons conducts the orchestra with soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, alto Marianne Cornetti, tenor Robert Dean Smith and bass Franz-Josef Selig. The programme features Kodály's Hungarian Psalm, Op. 13 and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in D, Op. 125.
The Concertgebouw Orchestra was formed in 1888 as the orchestra of the fine new hall that was being built. With one of the most enviable and venerable histories of any orchestra, the Concertgebouw - which received its Royal prefix in honour of its centenary in 1988 - has had only six chief conductors in its 11 decades of existence.
After Willem Kes, Willem Mengelberg was in the position for an extraordinary 50 years, when Eduard van Beinum took over in 1945 for 15 years. For two years Eugen Jochum shared the role with the young Bernard Haitink, who from 1964 until 1988 was sole chief conductor. All of these partnerships have achieved legendary status in musical history, a facet emulated by Riccardo Chailly - the first non-Dutch sole chief conductor in the orchestra's history. He left in 2004 to move to Leipzig, while the orchestra now has Latvian-born Russian conductor Mariss Jansons as its chief conductor.