A friend of mine just forwarded me an email from an American pianist/composer friend of his who’s based in Amsterdam. The Dutch and Belgian papers are all over this story about a religious nut’s attempt to derail a concert at the Concertgebouw and the fears for Queen Beatrix’s safety (the monarch was attending the concert.) But it has yet to break in the English-language press it seems, as I see no trace of it online anywhere.
Here are the contents of the email I just received about the incident:
I was just at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam for the concert celebrating 100 years Dutch composers association with the Dutch Queen and ex-mayor of Amsterdam there as special guests. There was a man claiming to be sent by Allah who stormed the podium, took the microphone and began preaching, so that the whole orchestra vacated the podium. The police came and arrested him and then began searching for a bomb. Heavy!!! We thought it was part of the program. A bassist in the orchestra who I’ve played with, came to me–I was sitting in the 4th row and told us it was real–we didn’t believe him. Still got to get my head around it–It’s all over Dutch news right now, because it was a threat on the Queen.
SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE:
Interesting to read such varied responses to the event described above. The pianist/composer Eugene Carl whose initial response, forwarded via a mutual friend I posted yesterday, followed up with these words when I emailed him last night for more information:
I saw the guy before the concert shaking hands with the ex-mayor, who’s now the head of the Labor party. His wife is in a wheel-chair, and the guy walked up to Job Cohen and introduced himself and tried to talk with him. A very handsome man in his 30″s dressed very nicely. I thought, he must be a dignitary or this is part of some kind of “act” for the concert. There were policemen outside and inside, so it wasn’t “unprotected”. After all the Queen was also coming–she’s the biggest supporter of the arts in Holland, especially dance, and is herself a brilliant sculpture and also painter.
Ton Cremers said:
There really was nothing the matter. Just a confused man addressing the audience from the stage. He was very quiet, and seemed at ease. No threats whatsoever.
However different these reactions are, it seems like it was an interesting night at the Concertgebouw at any rate!