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  • The Small Hall, Concertgebouw

    © Hans Roggen via Mahler Festival

  • Willem Mengelberg, Gustav Mahler and Alphons Diepenbrock walking in Laren near Amsterdam

    © Hendrik de Booy / Stadsarchief Amsterdam via Mahler Festival

  • The Main Hall, Concertgebouw

    © Hans Roggen via Mahler Festival

  • Exterior of the Concertgebouw

    © 2017 - Hans Roggen Fotografie

  • Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    © Eduardus Lee via Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director

  • Take in the first half of this outstanding celebration of Mahler’s music, encompassing five symphonic concerts at the Royal Concertgebouw, performed by renowned orchestras, conductors and soloists

  • Attend daytime recitals featuring prize-winning young artists, including 2017 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Catriona Morison and excellent classical piano quintet the Chianti Ensemble

  • Explore Amsterdam’s artistic and architectural treasures, from the world famous Rijksmuseum to a fascinating hidden church


    Second departure details


    Experience the full festival programme by combining both Mahler tours - Further details

“Russell gave very informative lectures, which were pitched so as to be of interest to all, and was happy to answer questions. He increased my understanding and appreciation of the music”

– ACE customer on a previous tour with Russell Keable

Any performance of a Mahler symphony is a remarkable musical occasion, such are the demands that these works make in terms of the size, technical ability and musical insight of the orchestras that tackle them. The opportunity to hear a whole sequence of the symphonies played by the world’s greatest orchestras is therefore an unmissable event.

We invite you to join us as we journey to the composer’s “second musical homeland” for one of the biggest celebrations of his orchestral works and songs in the world. The return of the Amsterdam festival – which has taken place only a handful of times since its inauguration in 1920 – is particularly highly anticipated after its cancellation in 2020, and to mark the occasion we are releasing two consecutive tours which between them will cover every festival concert.

This first departure will take in Symphonies 1-5, performed by an eminent line-up of orchestras and conductors including Klaus Mäkelä and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo under Fabio Luisi. Our top category seats will allow us to appreciate the Royal Concertgebouw’s magnificent acoustics as Mahler himself once did; while the concerts will provide a glimpse into the life and development of the composer’s own musical style over time.


Fully orchestral works bookend our tour, beginning with Symphony No 1 and ending with the emotionally sweeping Fifth Symphony: a crucial musical turning point for the composer, its famous fourth movement, Adagietto, has often been often interpreted as a love song to his wife Alma. Inbetween, soloists Christiane Karg and Anna Lucia Richter will join the Budapest Festival Orchestra for Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony No 2; while the all-encompassing Third Symphony – which he once described as “a summer’s midday dream” – will feature an immense line-up as the Women of the National Radio Choir, National Children's Choir and mezzo soprano Olesya Petrova perform alongside Fabio Luisi and the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo. The Fourth Symphony takes a contrastingly lighter touch, featuring at its heart a folksong based around a child’s vision of heaven; world renowned soprano Ying Fang will bring us the song itself in the final movement, as well as excerpts from Des Knaben Wunderhorn.

Our daytimes will also be filled with the music of Mahler and other composers. The Recital Hall will welcome us for two song recitals, featuring prize-winning British soloists Catriona Morison and James Newby, as well as the excellent Macedonian-Canadian mezzo soprano Ema Nikolovska and South Korean bass baritone Jusung Gabriel Park – all joined by Julius Drake, one of the world’s most respected Lieder accompanists, on piano. Mahler’s early Piano Quartet, meanwhile, will be brought to us on Sunday morning by the Chianti Ensemble.

As if the music were not enough, our tour will encompass visits to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum – home to works by ‘Golden Age’ greats from Rembrandt to Vermeer alongside thousands of other artistic and historical treasures – and the Van Gogh Museum. A little more off the beaten track, we will delve into Dutch history with a visit to the Our Lord in the Attic Museum, a wonderfully preserved full-size Catholic church concealed in a house during the Dutch Reformation.

We will stay throughout at the five-star Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Maurits at the Park, a luxurious and welcoming hotel situated by Amsterdam’s scenic Oosterpark. Rooms will be in the luxury category, which includes 24/7 access to the guest-only ‘Living’, an executive lounge with complimentary drinks, sweets and savoury bites.

Tickets for the main concerts will be Category 1, and tickets for the recitals Category 1+, providing the highest quality listening and viewing experience.


Our Tour Director for this departure is Russell Keable, BA, MMus, who trained at the universities of Nottingham and London and studied conducting with George Hurst and Norman Del Mar at London’s Royal College of Music. He currently teaches at the University of Surrey and is active as a composer, arranger, lecturer, broadcaster and performer.


Tour Director Russell Keable writes:


“What a wonderful week this is going to be, hearing some of the world’s top orchestras and conductors performing Mahler’s first five symphonies in the Concertgebouw (Mahler’s second home, after Vienna). I’m particularly looking forward to hearing Iván Fischer and the Budapesters play the Resurrection symphony and also Symphony No 5. But, for me, having the chance to hear the monumental third Symphony in the Concertgebouw will be a huge treat. Do come and join us for what’s going to be an exceptional experience.”


Experience the full festival programme

Please note, a second tour will be running from May 13-19, which will take in the second half of the festival, led by Tour Director Michael Downes. Take in all ten main evening performances by combining both Mahler tours with a reduction of £400.00 per person, based on sharing a room, and £500.00 per person for single occupancy.


Information about the second tour can be found here:



To book both tours, please contact the ACE office on 01223 841055. Please note that the tours will be based at different hotels.


Tour Code

Included: return airfare, accommodation at the Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel based on sharing a luxury twin or double bedded room, performances as described (5 main concerts category 1, 3 recitals category 1+), six breakfasts, one lunch, six dinners (one light) with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, luxury double room for single use supplement £995.

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