Concertgebouw: No chief conductor before 2024

The orchestra’s interim director David Bazen has told Dutch media not to expect a new conductor to be announced any time soon.

He said: ‘All conductors who would qualify, or who could qualify in future if their development goes in the right direction, already have commitments in the coming years…In addition, other orchestras are also looking for interesting conductors.’

It’s an official admission of defeat.

Read more here.

See also: How to wreck a once-great orchestra

share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
  • Thanks God! I still have time to become famous and take this position in 2024.
    Right before the 32nd covid wave…

  • The arrogance of these people is terrifying.

    ‘All conductors who would qualify, or who could qualify in future …’
    ALL ???? ALL?? Really?
    I don’t think so.

    Honest translation:
    Our small list of ‘suitable’ conductors – i.e. those we could only possibly appoint through cronyism or nepotism – are not available.
    So, instead of looking more deeply, taking things in a new, less crony-like direction, or even appointing one of the many hundreds of worthy and talented conductors we know of, yet ignore, we’ve decided to keep the position vacant for four years.
    I mean, we couldn’t possibly be seen doing something that could benefit anyone but our cronies. That’d go against everything we stand for: ourselves (not music and culture, silly!).

  • This is unfortunate. There most assuredly are great maestros available…just not ones with big enough star power, apparently.

  • I would sack Bazen. The Concertgebouw is one of the world’s greatest orchestras. It should be relatively easy to find a very good leader. Ivan Fischer is such a person and there are many others.

  • I’m sorry, but after the snubbing of Bernard Haitink at the RCO’s 125th anniversary celebrations in 2014 by Jan Raes (David Bazen’s predecessor), followed by his disastrous handling of the Daniele Gatti affair, what “interesting conductor” will want the Chief Conductor job with this (once) illustrious orchestra – still very much under the same regime?

    • I’am agree the RCO didn’t managed very well in the past the relationship with Haintink espacially in the 80’s. But he has to understand that the Karajan way (stay all your life musical director) was not the best for the RCO and for him. Gatti was not enough popular inside the orchestra I wrote it there several times. I don’t know if you have seen on Youtube the concerts they gave since June. the RCO continue to be an illustrious orchestra because all the solists and almost all the musicians stay and maybe they are more happy without official chief than 3 years ago.

      • I like Andris Nelsons but I think he’s too busy & gives too many concerts with his jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. I feel that in recent years, the quality of each performance has gone down a lot.
        I remember a transcendent Bruckner 9 with the Philharmonia & wonderful Strauss in Berlin 4-5 years ago. But in the last few years, his performances (at least the ones I’ve attended) are very good at best – he often looks quite tired on the podium which isn’t surprising considering how busy he is. However, I was really pleased to hear inspired performances on live stream from Salzburg & Amsterdam since Covid, probably helped by the fact that he’s given a lot fewer concerts recently with less travelling etc.
        Now that Covent Garden & Concertgebouw will probably fight it out for Nelsons around 2024/5, I hope that he focuses on quality, not quantity of his work.

  • “official admission of defeat”

    official recognition of reality:
    1) an MD isn’t going to change a damn thing in these times (oh, let me catch covid just to see Daniel Harding (or fill in the blank _____) , because I may never see him/her again)

    2) covid has completely revolutionized the way the public interacts with orchestras and how orchestras organize themselves and their repertory, do they even need a Toscanini today?

    3) indeed the profile of the MD has changed. One’s ability to lead Mahler’s symphony of a 1000 is quite irrelevant now. Can you participate in a baroque (or contemporary) ensemble of 8 musicians, i.e., can you play an instrument at the same virtuosic level of your orchestra? Few can, Barenboim…

    etc, etc

  • Feel’s a bit sad but they sure know what is best for them. And without hurry, they can take time to choose a best possible chief conductor. Andris Nelsons as a new chief would be dream come true

  • Defeat it certainly is! He should be fired as incompetent. There are ways of making things happen in the music business as elsewhere.

  • The Concertgebouw is becoming more and more like the Winer. No musical director but frequently the same directors. Ivan Fischer is maybe the Zubin Mehta or the Riccardo Muti of the RCO. Anyway there was no emergency to take a muscial director now and we don’t know how many concerts the RCO will do during the two next years. And for me the most important thing is for the RCO to avoid the problems the english orchestras have now

  • >