Concertgebouw confines its Academy to EU + Swiss

Concertgebouw confines its Academy to EU + Swiss


norman lebrecht

September 14, 2021

The orchestra has published a list of ten new entrants to its Academy. All appears to be EU nationals, plus one Swiss.

Is that a new rule – that EU orchs can only train citizens?

Here’s the list:

Sarah Décamps, violin (France)
Alessandro Di Giacomo, violin (Italy)
Hannah Solveij Gramss, violin (Germany)
Miranda Nee, violin (Switzerland)
Clara Petit, viola (France)
Liesbeth Bosboom, cello (the Netherlands)
Pedro De Elvas Raposo, double bass (Portugal)
Luna Vigni, flute (Italy)
Dovas Lietuvninkas, trumpet (USA/Lithuania)
Tim Ouwejan, trombone (the Netherlands)



  • Patrick Gillot says:

    Switzerland is not part of the EU.

    • Emil says:

      It has joined the EFTA, which gives it reciprocal access to the EU internal market (including for labour). You know, the one thing the UK has refused to do.

      Nothing wrong with EU institutions restricting access to EU member states or equivalent.

    • Maria says:

      No, but it’s more EU like Norway is, than we are in the UK! Seems okay if you never joined in the first place but God help you if you did and then left like we did! Border diwn the Irish Sea after they tried to put one in Ireland itself, and nearly caused another war. No great borders between Switzerland and the rest of the EU or even Europe itself.

  • qwerty1234 says:

    Orchestras in the Netherlands have a fairly long history of opening positions in their orchestras only to EU citizens, or those who already live there and have a residence permit. I believe exceptions can be made for principal positions, however? It is their loss.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      No loss, just win. Why should someone in Europe study hard to become a first-class musician with the knowledge that regular orchestra positions will be quoted for the sake of diversity or else?

      • qwerty1234 says:

        You’ve missed my point. By limiting the applicant pool, these orchestras are stopping many world-class (and often educated in Europe) musicians from countries outside the EU.

    • Maria says:

      If the players are good enough, why not? Stop all this endless flying.

  • ed0 says:

    It is enough to check on the website of the orchestra….

    Who can apply? Musicians who:

    are not older than 26 at 1 September 2023 and
    preferably have a Bachelor’s degree or are studying for a Master’s degree and
    holding the nationality of a European Union country plus, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. Or are in the possession of a valid Dutch working permit.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    European orchestras should definitely prioritize Europeans.

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    There were several changes inside the RCO orchestra during the last months. It’s normal. We have seen that last week for the concert on the Dam Square. Because of the Covid-19 I deeply regret that the viola Ken Hakki didn’t have the opportunity to say good bye to the audiance in the good conditions he deserved.

    • Melisande says:

      The principal cellist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra is called Ken Hakii. Moreover, the subject being brought up here has no relevance to the Academy of young musicians. I am sure that Mr. Hakii will get a proper farewell after his long and excellent playing in the orchestra.

      • ANDY LIM says:

        Ken is principal Viola.

      • Concertgebouw79 says:

        I have seen two different ways to write his name, you wrote probably the right one but he played viola at the RCO. I have read an article in the dutch press he’s no more in the orchestra. I have no doubts that the members of the RCO gave him the goodbye he diserved. It’s a little bite tough to don’t see him anymore just in front of the conductor.

  • John says:

    Last time I checked, Switzerland was not in the EU.

  • ed0 says:

    Those are pretty standard requirements I think for many EU orchestras and in place since many many years…

  • Alexy says:

    This is another consequence of the Brexit. The academists in concertgebouworchestra get a fee, so it has to follow the laws of EU (+ country that allows EU citizens to freely work) It’s very sad for the young talented British musicians.

  • Rustier spoon says:

    I can’t say I really see what the problem is…

  • Another orchestral musician says:

    LOL. When the UK opens positions for only citizens it’s called protection of interests. But when the EU- EEA does the same thing, then it’s not so fun anymore huh? Britain chose to leave, so there you go.