Amsterdam's Famed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Musicians to Perform at Kean University
An ensemble of musicians from Amsterdam's renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will perform at Kean Stage on Saturday, January 20. It's the first North American tour forCamerata RCO, which also includes sold-out shows at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the Frick Museum in New York City.
"We're really excited about it," said violinist Annebeth Webb. "We're looking forward to meeting our U.S. audience."
The members all perform regularly with the Royal Concertgebouw symphony orchestra in Amsterdam, widely considered one of the world's leading orchestras. Several years ago, their love of chamber music moved them to form a small ensemble on the side, with a special focus on classical and romantic repertoire for winds and strings. As there were more requests for their performances, they realized they needed a name. Camerata means a small chamber orchestra and RCO stands for Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. So it all just fell into place.
"We're kind of living the dream," said Webb, who studied at the Manhattan School of Music. "We love playing chamber music so much. We're very lucky to be able to combine the best of both worlds."
Praised by The New York Times for their "warm, glowing performance," the ensemble has enjoyed tremendous success in the Netherlands and abroad, performing about 50 concerts a season in music capitals such as Amsterdam, Vienna, Tokyo, Seoul, Madrid, Rome and New York. Their discography on Gutman Records includes recordings of works by Corelli, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Mahler and Ravel.
While a performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra consists of about 120 musicians, Camerata RCO is made up of 2-22 musicians, eight of whom will perform at Kean University's intimate Enlow Recital Hall: Marc Daniel van Biemen and Webb on violin; Jeroen Woudstra on viola; Maartje-Maria den Herder on cello; Rob Dirksen on double bass; Hein Wiedijk on clarinet; Simon van Holen on bassoon and Fons Verspaandonk on horn.
"We try not to get too big," said Webb. "We love playing with the orchestra but this is much more intimate. We enjoy deciding what and with whom we will play. It gives us a freedom we don't have with a symphony orchestra."
Often times, the musicians will offer up a Q&A with audience members after the performance. "It really adds to the concert and makes it very special," she said.
The program at Kean Stage consists of a Mozart clarinet quintet in A and a Schubert octet in F major.
"The Schubert octet is such an amazing piece, with a bassoon horn and a string quintet," said Webb. "It's the perfect piece for an ensemble like ours."
Camerata RCO will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, at Enlow Recital Hall, 215 North Avenue in Hillside, on Kean University's east campus. Tickets are $45 to $65 (use the discount code ROYAL to receive 2-for-1 tickets) and are available by phone at 908-737-7469 or online at www.keanstage.com.
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