Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has a new home, RCO House, at Gabriël Metsustraat, just across the Museumplein from the Concertgebouw where the orchestra will continue to give its concerts.
RCO House contains ten acoustically insulated studios which will allow orchestral musicians to rehearse there rather than having to rely on renting space elsewhere. The building also houses the orchestra’s administrative staff who have left their offices at Jacob Obrechtstraat. ‘The RCO House will be a dream come true for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. It will be a home where all of the orchestra’s musicians can prepare in peace for the many concerts in the Netherlands and abroad; a space where we can realise our ambitions in the area of chamber music and education; and a permanent and shared venue for orchestra and staff’, commented the RCO’s Managing Director Jan Raes.
The building, which dates from 1908 and is the work of the distinguished Dutch architect HP Berlage (who also designed Amsterdam’s Commodities Exchange and the Gemeentemusem in The Hague), was originally an art school for girls and latterly a laboratory for research of art objects belonging to Instituut Collectie Nederland. It has been renovated and restored after a campaign that raised €10 million from individuals with the orchestra providing a further €2.5 million. An additional €1.2 million was raised to fund activities in RCO House.
The largest space, the Amsterdam Hall, provides a space for chamber music, introductions to concerts, auditions and educational activities. RCO House also has reception rooms, offices and conference rooms, and a common room where musicians, staff and friends of the orchestra can meet. Workshops for schools will be held at RCO House as well as a public event every month.
RCO House will be officially opened on Thursday, January 17 with live radio and TV broadcasts and open-house events for the building’s neighbours.
Now all the great Dutch orchestra needs is a Chief Conductor …