In a tour lasting two-and-a-half seasons Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) will visit all 28 states of the European Union. The aim of the RCO Meets Europe tour is to celebrate the ideals of European cooperation and togetherness.
‘If history and crises have sometimes fractured Europe’s self-image, our common culture and heritage can provide a counterweight where necessary,’ said general manager Jan Raes, ‘Orchestral music in particular symbolises the idea of equality through diversity…in the face of political and economic challenges, now more than ever, we need to celebrate this uniquely European invention, which allows us to express a single idea through many voices.’
In each country RCO will perform one piece with a local youth orchestra, as well as giving masterclasses and lessons. The orchestras 120 members represent 25 countries, and it has recently appointed Daniele Gatti as chief conductor – only the seventh person to lead it in 127 years.
The tour begins in Ireland before Gatti’s inauguration as chief conductor on 9 September at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The programme includes Beethoven’s Egmont Op 84 Overture accompanied by JeugdOrkest Nederland (Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands).
Other countries visited for RCO Meets Europe in 2016-17 include Austria, Slovenia, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Slovakia and the UK. The remaining sixteen countries will be visited over the following two seasons.