Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Haitink Celebrates Fiftieth Anniversary

When I moved to Amsterdam on April 30, 1983 my first and wonderful experience with seeing and hearing Bernard Haitink for the first time was a concert I attended with my sister and brother-inlaw at the Concertgebouw to see the Concertgebouw horn section perform Schumann's Konzertstuck for 4 horns and orchestra, and Berlioz, Symphonie Fantatic.


What a hall, what an orchestra and what a fantastic conductor ! after living in Amsterdam for 18 years, you can imagine I have heard this orchestra its conductor hundreds of time since !

The biggest honour was playing as an extra in the orchestra with Bernard Haitink conducting Strauss's Alpine Symphonie.

"On Tuesday, 7 November, it has been exactly fifty years since Bernard Haitink, aged 27, first conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The young conductor was called in to replace Carlo Maria Giulini, who had cancelled because of illness. Haitink made a stunning debut and was immediately invited to return the following season. Leading the orchestra on its first tour in 1959, he was appointed first conductor on 1 September that same year and became principal conductor in 1963. During his tenure, the orchestra developed significantly, as evidenced today by a series of legendary, award-winning recordings. He relinquished the post in 1988, going on to work with the world’s leading orchestras and opera houses. Haitink’s great importance to the RCO was further underscored in 1999, when he was appointed honorary conductor.This month, Haitink is leading the orchestra in a series of concerts featuring works by Webern, Richard Strauss and Mahler. A special anniversary concert was given on 7 November, during which he conducted Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde. The concert was televised partly at the Dutch television. Das Lied von der Erde will be broadcasted on Nederland 2 on Tuesday, 26 December at 1.10 p.m."

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