In 1988, a documentary was made for Dutch VPRO television by Ad 's Gravesande and Sieuwert Verster about the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's centenary, called 'Het orkest, geluid van een eeuw' [The orchestra, sound of a century]. Research for this documentary included interviews by Sieuwert Verster with (former) orchestra members and others involved with the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Several years after finishing the documentary producer Sieuwert Verster handed over the raw film materials (which are often destroyed after these kind of productions) to the Nederlands Muziek Instituut (Netherlands Music Institute) in The Hague. Only a few fragments of the interviews had been used for the documentary and parts of the interviews related to the conductor Willem Mengelberg will now (2020), many years later, be published for the first time via the website Willem Mengelberg Society: https://www.willemmengelberg.nl/?q=content/interviews-het-orkest-geluid-van-een-eeuw-1988 and on Youtube.
The biographer of Willem Mengelberg and director of the NMI Frits Zwart, worked out the idea and with financial support of the Willem Mengelberg Stiftung (Switzerland) digitization and editing of image and sound were realized.
The first interviews released online are with composer Henk Badings, harpist Phia Berghout and administrator Evert Cornelis jr., klarinetist Bram de Wilde, violinist Sam Tromp and violinist/director of the Concertgebouworchestra Piet Heuwekemeijer.
For a worldwide distribution the interviews are subtitled in English. During the course os 2020, all the remaining interviews regarding Willem Mengelberg will be published online.
Photo: Willem Mengelberg, January 1940, rehearsal with the Wiener Philharmoniker by Karl Kepka