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Concertgebouw Reinstates Jerusalem Quartet Performance After Backlash

Originally canceled for safety concerns, the quartet’s concert will now be held on May 18 with heightened security measures


Based in Amsterdam, the Royal Concertgebouw will present one of two cancelled performances with the Jerusalem Quartet on May 18.

“The safety of staff, visitors and musicians at this concert will be safeguarded thanks to tightened security measures, adjusted visitor flow and an adjusted start time,” the Concertgebouw’s press release reads.

Earlier in the week, the Concertgebouw canceled the Jerusalem Quartet’s May 16 and 18, 2024 concerts, citing safety concerns regarding “announced demonstrations and the recent developments surrounding protests in Amsterdam,” the venue wrote.

“This decision was not taken lightly,” a spokesperson said, as reported in DutchNews. “But we want to guarantee the safety of our staff, our visitors — who are often elderly — and the musicians.”

After news of the cancellation, the British pianist Danny Driver launched a petition calling for the decision to be overturned. The appeal garnered over 10,000 signatures — including violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, pianist Martha Argerich, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Part of the petition read:

“We, the undersigned, as musicians and presenters who celebrate mutual respect across different disciplines and specializations, who regularly collaborate and who draw inspiration from one another, are appalled at the recent announcement of the Concertgebouw to cancel the May 16th and 18th performances by the Jerusalem Quartet.

“Threats to the safety of musicians, concert hall staff, and the general public, fly in the face of hard-won democratic values and freedom of expression, and should have no place in our society. The behavior of our arts organizations should reflect this, and should stand up for these values…

“Anything less than permitting the Jerusalem Quartet to continue with its planned performances — and to provide them and the audience of the Concertgebouw with protection and support — amounts to pure moral cowardice … We wholeheartedly protest this act and as musicians call for an immediate redress.”

The reinstated concert is currently sold out.

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