'This season is one big opening celebration' 

Sven Arne Tepl

A favorite seat in the new Concert Hall at Amare does not have general and artistic director Sven Arne Tepl. 'Of course I've tried out lots of seats, both in the auditorium and on both balconies and then with and without an audience. No matter how hard I try, I can't find any 'blind spots': it just sounds equally good everywhere!' 

By the term "blind spots," Sven is referring to places where things sound less, a phenomenon more common in concert halls. At Amare , he can't find them. The orchestra members are equally enthusiastic about the clear acoustics of their new home. 'There is an optimistic mood,' Sven says. 'The musicians can hear each other well, which not only promotes ensemble playing, but also invites investment in sound. But surely the most wonderful thing is that we can welcome our audience back to this magnificent hall.' Animated, he talks about the programming for the rest of the season. 

Series restart
Now that the Residentie Orkest is settled in Amare, series will restart in 2022. In addition to the Friday night subscription and the Chamber Music Series at Nieuwe Kerk , the Sunday Matinee also returns. There are also MasterClassics again . About highlights, Sven has to think long and hard. 'It feels like I have to choose a favorite child. If I have to choose, then the highlight of the season: the Requiem by Verdi. This piece has an impressive scoring; a choir of one hundred will be singing on the balcony surrounding the orchestra. Our chief conductor Anja Bihlmaier is conducting the work for the first time. Her inspiring vision and extensive experience as an opera conductor will surely make this performance a success. 

Another concert worth mentioning, according to Sven, is the performance of Bruckner's Ninth in combination with the world premiere of the orchestral suite of Otto Ketting's opera "Ithaka. Sven: 'Ketting composed this opera especially for the opening of the Muziektheater Amsterdam in 1986. A controversial piece with influences from composers such as Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg. When musicologist and composer Elmer Schönberger asked me if I would be interested in an orchestral suite of this opera, I was immediately sold.' 

Artist in residence
Artist in residence Simone Lamsma will also be featured a number of times, this time including in Ravel's "Tzigane" and Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto . 'Simone has been coming to us for years. It's great to see how she develops, going deeper and deeper into the subject matter. In addition, she is open to unknown and new repertoire, which I admire.' During her residency, Lamsma will also play a recital at the Nieuwe Kerk and will give a master class to students at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. 

Amare Studio
Sven was closely involved in the design of Amare. That the education studios should be behind the Concert Hall was a precondition from the beginning. 'We get a lot of visits from schools who visit the orchestra after a workshop. From the education studios it's only a few steps. Those kinds of contact moments are incredibly important; that's how we bring classical music closer. We therefore want to make practically all rehearsals accessible to visitors.' 

Thanks to the retractable grandstand, Amare Studio, the orchestra's rehearsal space, can accommodate up to 200 concertgoers. 'There, the performance 'Anne & Zef' will soon be performed, a children's opera about Anne Frank and the Albanian refugee Zef. This production focuses on important themes such as identity and resilience. A special feature is that Syrian soprano Mireille Bittar will perform the role of Anne Frank. 

Finally, Sven would like to show off his favorite spot at Amare : the hanging staircase on the fifth floor that leads to the Young Talent department. 'This staircase is architecturally so coolly designed. It hangs from steel cables and the glass roof makes it seem as if it is reaching for the sky. A beauty that - like music - is hard to describe. So be sure to visit for yourself.'