Royal De Gruijter: Transporting the Sounds of the Concertgebouw Orchestra Across Europe

The Concertgebouw Orchestra is a celebrated ensemble of over 80 Dutch musicians whose talents come together to create a symphony that is renowned across Europe.

Concertgebouw Orchestra Transportation From Royal De Gruijter

To bring the sound to audiences from Bucharest to Frankfurt, they pair their musical prowess with world-class instruments that must be transported in tightly controlled and pristine environments from concert to concert around the continent. This is where Mobilitas subsidiary Royal De Gruijter comes in.

The Royal De Gruijter is a Dutch removals company whose beginnings date back to 1881, making it one of the oldest moving companies in the Netherlands. Having been trusted for over a century by the Dutch royal family to transport their belongings, it is no wonder that Royal De Gruijter has been the partner of choice for the Concertgebouw Orchestra for over ten years – entrusted with the vital task of transporting its instruments while on tour.


The orchestra gets their own climate-controlled van

“We dedicate a truck to transporting the instruments during the music season, which extends from fall until spring,” explains Royal De Gruijter’s General Manager, Remko Hitijahubessy.

“Each instrument is packed in its own tailor-made case. And the van’s interior was developed with input from the orchestra [to ensure that it will fit the many instruments of] different shapes, sizes, and weights,” says Remko. They needed to ensure the space would fit even the largest instruments, such as the percussion’s timpani drums.

The interior of the truck is also climate-controlled, to guarantee that the temperature and humidity remain within an acceptable range. Wooden musical instruments in particular are sensitive to changes in the weather, which, if not controlled, can damage instruments and negatively affect their pitch and tone. The climate-controlled interior protects the equipment against the harsh European winters and varying regional climates – ensuring that the orchestra’s instruments are in stellar condition for the performances.

Remko says that 70 percent of the instruments always go on tour, and the remaining equipment depends on the orchestra’s programme. Careful communication takes place between Royal De Gruijter and the orchestra to ensure that the correct instruments are loaded into the van for the journey.


The Royal De Gruijter crew travels alongside the musicians

Custom Transportation With Tailored Vehicles for Expert Moves
Tours start in Amsterdam, where a dedicated Royal De Gruijter crew loads up the instruments in preparation for their journey. While the musicians travel via coach or train to the various venues, a team of two drivers ensures that the instruments arrive at their destination in good time via road.

The Royal De Gruijter team stays hard at work to ensure things go smoothly. They offload the instruments at the venue in preparation for the pre-show rehearsal, and then pack and load them back into the van after the concert for the next leg of the journey, often in the same night.

The drivers accompany the orchestra for the duration of the tour, which can last anywhere between one and two weeks. If tour dates are tight and the instruments need to be on the road continuously to reach their next destination on time, Royal De Gruijter sends relief drivers to take over, ensuring that no one is overworked.

“Royal De Gruijter plays an integral role in our concert season. We are pleased with the dedication they have shown to making sure the instruments, some of which are worth thousands of euros, are transported in optimum conditions,” said the orchestra’s director of communications. “It takes a lot of coordination to make sure a tour runs smoothly, and knowing the instruments are in safe hands makes a big difference.”

When it comes to reliable moving services, contact Royal De Gruijter for all your transportation needs.

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