The date is 15 September 1881. Six illustrious Amsterdam citizens come together to breathe life into the ‘Provisional Committee to build a concert hall’. The Park Hall theatre in the Plantage area was about to be demolished, the Felix Meritis building was too small, and Amsterdam’s Crystal Palace was uncomfortable and notorious for its poor acoustics. A few months earlier, the weekly paper De Amsterdammer denounced the sad state of the capital city’s music scene. ‘While the leaders of all self-respecting cities abroad have made sure their cities are graced with good concert halls, our government has declared that these ill-fated ‘arts’ are not its responsibility,’ the paper reported.