De Koninklijke Republiek

Fascinating portrait of a group of musicians who have a supporting but indispensable role within the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra: the percussion and timpani players.

Please note that this film is in Dutch and English, with Dutch subtitles.
Time & Tickets

For DE KONINKLIJKE REPUBLIEK (‘The Royal Republic’), Spanish-Dutch filmmaker Carmen Cobos was given exclusive access to a group of musicians who are never in the spotlight. The audience mainly notices them during loud passages. However, there is more behind these talented men than meets the eye. The skills of this group are so unique that in the 135-year history of the orchestra, only 26 musicians were deemed virtuosic enough to be part of this team. Their special status gives them the freedom to choose their own instruments, manage their own space and interpret the music in their own way. That’s why conductor Bernard Haitink called them ‘the percussion republic.’

DE KONINKLIJKE REPUBLIEK is a feel-good documentary about friendship, craftsmanship and music. It is very enjoyable to discover how much these musicians love their craft, how much they care about their instruments and how great their interconnectedness is. But the upcoming retirement of the first timpanist threatens to disrupt the team. A new group member must be found, adding extra pressure to a season already marred by Covid-19 and cancelled concerts.

Carmen Cobos, Netherlands, 2022, 95 min. Dutch & English spoken, Dutch subtitles.