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Het Orkest Amsterdam (The Amsterdam Orchestra)


Het Orkest Amsterdam (The Amsterdam Orchestra) is a dynamic and young symphony orchestra based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Founded in 1984 by former members of several Dutch student ensembles, nowadays the orchestra consists of approximately 70 musicians and is one of the leading amateur orchestras in the western part of the Netherlands. The orchestra has performed more than 400 pieces by approximately 90 different composers, performing in prominent concert halls such as the famous Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and the new architectural award-winning Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Amsterdam). The orchestra has toured the Czech Republic (1994 and 2007), France (1999 and 2014), Italy (2003), China (2007/2008) and Poland (2017). 

Besides the well-known symphonic repertoire, from Mozart to Shostakovich, the orchestra also performs works by modern composers, including several written especially for the orchestra: for example, Levant, written by the Greek composer Calliope Tsoupaki, and a saxophone concerto by the young Turkish composer Evrim Demirel. Summer projects are often designed as children’s concerts with special repertoire, multimedia and sometimes a narrator. Recently, members of the orchestra wrote and performed a story created around music from Schubert’s Rosamunde and Grieg’s Peer Gynt.
The orchestra occasionally performs chamber music or large-scale choral works such as Verdi’s Requiem or Mahler’s Symphony No.2. The orchestra also gives performances featuring both well-established and promising young soloists like Liza Fershtman, David Kweksilber and Matthieu van Bellen. Members of the orchestra regularly get the opportunity to perform as soloist in concert.
From 1987 - 2009, the Russian conductor Alexander Vakoulsky conducted the orchestra, with several conductors, for example Gustavo Gimeno and Joan Berkhemer, taking over after that time. Since 2014, Jacob Slagter has been engaged as conductor. Slagter has played principal horn with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for more than 25 years, and we are privileged to share his passion for music, his experience and his keen sense for sound and balance. 

Highlights of the performance history of het Orkest Amsterdam:

  • 2022 Own production of Schubert – Rosamunde and Grieg – Peer Gynt for children

  • 2019 Poulenc - Gloria, Saint-Saëns - Organ Symphony (Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam)

  • 2018 Prokoviev – Romeo and Juliet with narrator (Paradiso, Amsterdam)

  • 2017 Tour to Poland with Matthieu van Bellen: Wieniawski - Violin concerto, Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique

  • 2016 Brahms - Ein Deutsches Requiem (Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam), together with Nederlands Project Koor.

  • 2014 Verdi - Requiem, Prokoviev - Alexander Nevsky (Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, Amsterdam)

  • 2013 Gershwin - An American in Paris (Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam).

  • 2006 Mahler - Symphony No.5 (Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam)

  • 2003 Concert tour Tuscany, Italy, Shostakovich - Symphony No. 10

  • 2002 Mahler - Symphony No.2 (Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam) 

The complete list of performances can be downloaded from the web site of the Amsterdam Orchestra. Click here for this list.

Performances on Youtube can be found here, here and here.

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