Music is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Thus, when a friend told me about the weekly free lunch concerts held at 12.30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Concertgebouw – just across the Rijksmuseum-, I couldn’t wait to go.
I arrived a few minutes after 12 to find a long line with many people patiently waiting for the opening of the doors. And though I was prepared for ‘chaos’, for according to the website “You do not need a ticket, but these concerts are very popular, so plan to arrive about a half hour before the concert to get a seat”, everything went smoothly. The doors opened and both the hall and the balcony welcomed an audience that filled the Main Hall.
I was ready to dive into the magic of classical music when to my surprise the band started playing some jazz tunes and themes from famous movies. The Jazzmania Big Band conducted by Peter Guidi was spectacular while also accompanied by Denise Jannah’s enchanting voice. For the last piece the maestro invited on stage some jazz students from Amsterdam. Absolutely fantastic, the young musicians completely swept us away thus ‘keeping jazz alive’.
“The concerts vary from public rehearsals by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and concerts by conservatory ensembles, to chamber music performances by young up-and-coming artists.The programming is very broad, and offers something for everyone: listeners can enjoy a variety of early music and the classical genre, and also get acquainted with a more modern repertoire.” One of the best and famous concert halls in the world, the Concertgebouw is spacious, has a good sound and a wide program ranging from classical to pop and jazz.
For those who are interested, you can find the program online and attend at least one of the free lunch concerts somewhere between September and June for an amazing experience and indeed “an unforgettable afternoon out”. I am already looking forward to next Wednesday. Enjoy!
1071 LN Amsterdam
For more info and program: http://www.concertgebouw.nl/en/free-lunch-concerts