The Radio Chamber Orchestra (RKO), a classical orchestra consisting of 39 musicians, constitutes the basis of an ensemble which can be reduced or expanded depending on the requirements of the scores. This flexibility of size is particularly important for modern music, since it gives composers more possibilities in their choice of instruments than would an eighteenth-century orchestral make-up. This approach allows the Radio Chamber Orchestra to perform a repertoire covering more than three centuries. The Radio Chamber Orchestra is internationally noted for its interpretations of modern music, having given first performances of several works by living composers both from the Netherlands and elsewhere.
As a result of this reputation the orchestra regularly performs in European Festivals of modern music. In addition, the orchestra is intensively active in performing the classical repertoire. Jan-Willem de Vriend, conductor After his violin studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory Jan Willem de Vriend worked with Davina van Wely at the Conservatory in The Hague. As a member of various chamber music ensembles he has performed all over the world. In 1982 he set up Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, an orchestra specialising in 17th and 18th century music. Apart from numerous concerts in the Netherlands, the orchestra has performed in the U.S.A., South-America, Japan, Italy, Norway, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain and Turkey. Jan Wilem de Vriend has conducted Luzern Opera Theatre, and concerts at the Gstaad Festival and every year the Robeco Summer Festival in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, The Festival of Flanders (Belgium) and Festival of Sevilla (Spain). Jan-Willem de Vriend has conducted various opera productions, among which: L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Dido & Aeneas, Ulississe, LOrfeo, King Arthur, Don Giovanni, Bastien et Bastienne and Die Fledermaus. He has been appointed principal guest conductor by the New Sinfonietta Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Bach Soloists, Concerto Armenico in Freiburg and the RIAS Chamber Orchestra in Berlin. Furthermore he has conducted the Radio Chamber Orchestra, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, The Brabants Orchestra and the North Netherlands Orchestra. De Vriend has worked with soloists Paul Tortellier, Elly Ameling, Barbara Bonney, Anner Bijlsma, Roberta Alexander, Bernarda Fink, Vera Beths, Thomas Zehet-mair, Anthony Rolf Johnson, Laurence Dale, Derek Lee Ragin, Han de Vries and Dmitri Ferschtmann. For 2001/2002 include concerts with the Radio Chamber Orchestra, eight periods with The Brabants Orchestra (various programs), 2 periods with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra etc.Opra National du Rhin in Die Zauberflte. This in addition to productions with his own ensemble Combattimento Consort like Monteverdis lOrfeo, Israel in Egypt with a tour through Europe (Spain, Netherlands (Great Hall Concertgebouw), Germany).