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Concert Venues :: Amsterdam Concertgebouw


Now Known As
Date Opened 1888
Venue Capacity 2,037
Venue URL
Venue Address Antwoordnummer 17902
1000 WR Amsterdam

Venue Information

The Concertgebouw is a concert hall in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" literally translates into English as "concert building". Because of its highly regarded acoustics, the Concertgebouw is considered one of the three finest concert halls in the world, along with Bostons Symphony Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna.

Construction began in 1883 in a pasture that was then outside the city, in Amstelveen. 2,186 piles twelve to thirteen meters (forty to forty-three feet) in length were sunk into the soil. The hall opened on April 11, 1888, with an inaugural concert in which an orchestra of 120 musicians and a chorus of 500 singers participated, performing works of Wagner, Handel, Bach, and Beethoven.

The Grote Zaal ("big hall") seats 2037, and is 44 meters (144 feet) long, 28 meters (92 feet) wide, and 17 meters (56 feet) high. Its reverberation time is 2.8 seconds without audience, 2.2 seconds with, making it ideal for the late Romantic repertoire such as Mahler. Though this characteristic makes it largely unsuited for amplified music, groups such as The Who and Pink Floyd performed there in the 1960s. In addition to orchestras, jazz and world music groups perform in the Grote Zaal.

Today, some eight hundred concerts per year take place in the Concertgebouw, for a public of 850,000, making it the most-visited concert hall in the world. One of the highlights of Concertgebouw season is the annual New Years Concert by the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (Netherlands Wind Ensemble), a fresh, contemporary answer to the traditional Vienna Waltzfest.

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