Interview with Concertmaster Wouter Vossen

"'We should consider ourselves fortunate to have so many good Friends'"

- Wouter Vossen - Concertmaster

Wouter Vossen is concertmaster at the Residentie Orkest. We spoke to him about the profession, his idols and the importance of the Friends.

Wouter first explains exactly what a concertmaster is and does. 'A concertmaster is actually the link between the conductor and the orchestra. You try to translate the wishes of the conductor to the musicians. Especially with a guest conductor, you want the Residentie Orkest on the one hand to function in the way we are used to and on the other hand you want the conductor to be able to bring his musical ideas to life. Practically, as concertmaster, you determine what strokes the violins do, where on the baton we play, make sure tuning is done before the concert and play the solos. By the way, I still combine the combination of concertmaster with fantastic orchestral repertoire and wonderful solos with the Storioni Trio. This is of course possible especially thanks to the duo job with the other concertmaster Lucian-Leonard Raiciof. We never play together but have a lot of contact. He is a great violinist and I couldn't wish for a better colleague.'

The born and raised Brabander has several examples that have defined his musical life. 'My uncle Willy Busch was a well-known concertmaster with the radio in the fifties/sixties. He lived in a large villa in Hilversum, was a bit of the romantic figure in the family with whom we had little contact at first. I did listen a lot to bands he played on. Later I got to know him well and wanted to play the violin just like him. Herman Krebbers, concertmaster of the Residentie Orkest in the 1950s, also had a lot of influence on me, first as a teacher and then as a mentor. We always kept in good touch. Krebbers gave me all his trio parts with his notes, strokes and fingerings. A tremendous personal gift.

Ever since his very first production at the Residentie Orkest , it has felt good for Wouter to be in The Hague. 'The orchestra is very strong in quality, has a rich tradition, has a lot of talent and is also incredibly welcoming. They are once again looking to the future with a positive outlook. The orchestra really deserves a place at the top of the Dutch orchestra system. The concerts with Nicholas Collon but also the opera in Amsterdam had a very high level, we have to hold on to that!

Wouter has also met many Friends. 'A Friends association is incredibly important, actually for any cultural enterprise. With a withdrawing government and subsidies under pressure, the Friends ensure that some projects can go ahead. The Residentie Orkest is lucky to have so many good and loyal Friends.

Will we become Friends?

The Friends of the Residentie Orkest Association has contributed to the success of the Residentie Orkest The Hague for more than 75 years.