The Royal Concertgebouw

Breathtakingly Beautiful Events in the Classic Temple of Music

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is one of those unique venues that doesn’t require an introduction. Anyone who faces the venue knows just how stylish the building is, understands how elegant the rooms are and how everything is cared for down to the smallest detail. It’s common knowledge that the acoustics in the rooms are fantastic – the concert hall is world-renowned under music enthusiasts for good reason. With five beautiful halls, the Royal Concertgebouw is also a breathtaking venue for congresses, celebrations and special events.

The Royal Concertgebouw is situated in the cultural heart of Amsterdam, with a classical façade at the Museum Square like a true Temple of Music. Shining bright at the very top of the building is the characteristic golden harp – the symbol of music.

We enter the Royal Concertgebouw through a modern glass extension which now forms the entrance to the monumental building. There’s enough room here for a reception and to guide guests to their destination: one floor up, or straight ahead past the cloakroom to the concert hall. We’ll start off our tour with the highlight of this venue, the crown jewel and sanctuary of the country’s classical music world and home base of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra: the Main Hall.

Shining bright at the very top of the building is the characteristic golden harp – the symbol of music.

The Royal Concertgebouw

There’s something magical about stepping inside the Main Hall and gazing around. Especially considering there’s only two concert halls around the world that can compete with this hall regarding acoustics and allure. The hall is vast and rich in detail. Classical red plush on the chairs and an elegant white on the walls and ceilings, enriched with gold leaf ornaments. With the push of a button, the monumental appearance fades to a more modern one. Colorful led lighting appears on the walls and emphasizes the beautiful details. Our gaze moves to the stage, behind which an immense pipe organ reaches all the way up to the ceiling.  On both sides of the pipe organ are chairs that are so close that a guest sitting there could read the notes on the sheet of music.

One of the reasons the Royal Concertgebouw is so suitable for congresses is the large amount of seats – with no less than 1974 chairs, this is the largest flat hall of Amsterdam. The chairs are very comfortable, there’s perfect light and sound, and the room is equipped with six high definition cameras. With the accompanying recording studio, any event can be recorded from the beginning until the very end, including the beautiful décor.

From classic to modern

The Main Hall forms the right-angled heart of the building. Around it is a hall with several foyers and food and beverage outlets, and there’s three more halls that can be used for events. One of those is the Spiegelzaal (Hall of Mirrors), a striking oval space with a high ceiling and pillars all around. This hall matches the Main Hall in style perfectly. The Spiegelzaal has a capacity of 225 people in a theater setup, but has a very intimate feeling due to the oval shape and pillars. On both sides of the Spiegelzaal are break-outs, which can be used for catering.

Via the cloakroom we make our way back to the entrance and take the elevator up to the second floor in the glass extension. On this floor we find a special reception room: the Pleinfoyer. The contrast with the halls inside the old part of the building is spectacular. The classical and richly decorated rooms make way for a transparent glass front, modern architecture and a bright and spacious room. The glass walls make this a very bright room and create a stunning view of the Museum Square. At the inside of the foyer, you look out on the monumental outer wall of the building.

The Kleine Zaal (Small Room) is as stylish as the Main Hall. Image: Maikel Thijssen

Intimate theater room

From the Pleinfoyer we walk back inside the Royal Concertgebouw, to the Kleine Zaal (Small Room) on the second floor. The room looks strangely familiar: haven’t we seen this before? The room is identical in shape to the Spiegelzaal – it lies right above it. The shape may be identical, but the appearance is unique. This is a beautiful, intimate concert room, with a magnificent high ceiling and a warm, wooden stage. The room can seat 400 guests.

If we thought two identically shaped rooms was special, then the Royal Concertgebouw has one more treat in store for us. The Koorzaal (Choir Room), designed to create perfect acoustics for choir performances, presents us with a third variant to the oval-shaped rooms theme. The walls in this room have been furnished with a warm, dark material that subdues the sound perfectly. The fabric has been fitted with dozens of tiny spotlights that sparkle like a starlit sky. The lighting here is great no matter what: as a nice touch, old chandeliers from the whole building have been collected and attached to the ceiling here for a beautiful effect.

The Royal Concertgebouw is an incredibly beautiful building, with an unprecedented appearance and magnificent rooms. The perfect routing between the five various rooms also make it a tremendous venue for large events and congresses.

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)