Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Amsterdam] Concertgebouw

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Add: Concertgebouwplein 10, 1071 LN Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)20 671 83 45
Visited: Jul 2011

The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world, along with places such as Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colón, Boston’s Symphony Halland the Musikverein in Vienna. Naturally, attending a concert in the Concertgebouw is a must when in Amsterdam.

Ticket prices vary according to each concert, and ours was around 40 euros for one of the better seats in the hall. The best part is that if you are under 30, you can get a discounted ticket for 11 euros if you line up 45 minutes before the concert (given that there are leftover tickets, and there usually are). I wish they’d do the same for young people in Shanghai.

After getting our tickets, we stopped by the Concertgebouw Cafe, an airy space where concert-goers can have some light pre-concert snacks and drinks. While the classy old folks (90% of the concert-goers appeared to be 60+) sipped on glasses of wine, I couldn’t resist but go for a raspberry tart instead.

And what an excellent choice that was! The raspberry tart was surprisingly delicious. I checked the wrapping glass paper and saw that it came from Patisserie Holtkamp. If I had more time in Amsterdam, I most definitely will go hunt for this patisserie and try more of its creations.

You can also enjoy drinks inside the concert hall before the concert and during intermission, and apparently those come free with the concert ticket. Unfortunately I found this out afterwards…

But back to the concert hall. Today, around 900 concerts take place in the Concertgebouw every year for an audience of over 800,000, making it the second most-visited concert hall in the world (Rome’s Parco della musica ranking number 1 with over one million). Our concert was performed in the Grote Zaal (Main Hall), where family names of a number of classical music composers are displayed on the balcony ledges and on the walls. Bach, Handel, Dvořák, Chopin, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, Mendelssohn, etc., etc., etc. There is also a Kleine Zaal (Small Hall), which is usually used for chamber music and lieder.

I was very happy to see Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto on the program, and was also excited to hear the harpsichord in live performance (a first for me). No pictures and recordings can be shared, but it was a most pleasant experience, and all that for just 11 euros! If I were to ever to live in Amsterdam, visiting the Concertgebouw would  surely be a regular activity. Music lovers, do not miss this if you are in the city.

Tip: apparently you can purchase tickets for 12.50 euros at the Last Minute Ticket booth in Leipsepein, and there are also free Wednesday noontime concerts during certain months of the year. For those of you visiting Amsterdam in the future, look for information on google or check the Concertgebouw’s official website.

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Written by sugarednspiced

July 13th, 2011 at 10:27 pm