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Concertgebouworkest - a complex puzzle full of challenges

Find out how ATPI have helped the world renowned Concertgebouworkest achieve their travel goals in challenging circumstances

Founded in 1888 and based in Amsterdam, the Concertgebouworkest is one of the very best orchestras in the world. Time and time again, critics have lauded its unique sound. The string section has been called ‘velvety’, the sound of the brass ‘golden’, the timbre of the woodwinds ‘distinctly personal’ and the percussion have an international reputation.

The Concertgebouworkest average 120 players hailing from over 25 countries with 50 cubic metres of material and equipment, which all needs transporting for complex tours. The orchestra can travel to up to six different cities per month during their European and intercontinental tours and anywhere from 6 to 16 different countries per year. In 2019, they toured America, Germany, France, Japan and Luxembourg. This in turn, makes for a very complicated and unique travel situation.

ATPI Corporate Travel organises the travel for tours when several destinations are visited in a short period of time. In addition to the complex transportation of instruments, transport and hotels must be arranged for the large group within a tight schedule of rehearsals and performances at various locations.

Looking at the possibilities and solutions to any obstacles and barriers in advance is key to making the process smooth. Special requirements such as couples who like to sit next to each other, people with long legs or perhaps an injury that requires one leg to be stretched constantly are all taken into consideration and delivered with success.

With such a tight schedule, there can be no compromises on time. When on tour, work, rest and travel times must be taken into account. For example, the musicians must have rest hours after a concert, so everything must be tightly matched. As a result, scheduled services cannot always be used because departure times do not always fit into the orchestra’s timetable and a charter flight is booked as an alternative.

At the airport, everyone has to be well taken care of so that they don't have to think about anything themselves: "You want to have it well arranged in advance so that people notice as little pressure and commotion as possible at the airport, so that they can quickly hand in their suitcase, get their boarding pass and go straight through customs," (Maarten Kroesen, Aviation Expert at ATPI).

A true highlight of the partnership was during the orchestra’s 125th anniversary year where they travelled globally for 50 concerts. Together, ATPI and the Concertgebouworkest started planning over a year in advance to ensure plane sailing when it was time to travel.

Manon Wagenmakers (Tour Manager at the Concertgebouworkest describes the collaboration with ATPI and Maarten as intense: “…you have to be able to rely on each other. If something goes wrong or you are stressed, musicians usually don't notice. Then Maarten is there to help and solve things. He knows everything about aviation and I can therefore trust him blindly. The same applies in reverse, of course.”

The partnership is very complicated logistically but rewarding for both parties. We provided a solutions-based approach, focusing on overcoming obstacles with minimal hassle and stress.

"For many years ATPI has been our professional and reliable support and anchor during our complex concert tours. In good or bad times, they are always ready to help. ATPI assists us in the field of duty of care and the duty of care that we have towards our orchestra members, this way, we can always tour with peace of mind."

Manon Wagenmakers, Tour Manager at the Concertgebouworkest