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Jerusalem Quartet Performs Live at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw

The reinstated concert at the Concertgebouw was live streamed and featured quartets by Debussy and Paul Ben-Haim

 

Jerusalem Quartet’s May 18 concert was reinstated two days after a pair of its concerts was withdrawn from Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw due to safety concerns regarding planned demonstrations, said the venue’s General Manager Simon Reinink in a statement

“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 venue wrote in an updated statement. “To make the concert accessible to everyone, it will also be available via a stream on the website of The Concertgebouw.”

“Every concert must be able to go ahead,” Reinink added. "The Concertgebouw fully supports its mission to connect and enrich everyone with sublime music, regardless of background, religion, culture or any distinction. We must continue to stand up for the free society we want to be. Every day.”

The quartet performed a sold-out concert featuring Paul Ben-Haim’s String Quartet No. 1, op. 21, and Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, op. 10. 

 

 

“... moved to tears by the outpouring of support worldwide from musicians of all profiles, from internationally famous names to anonymous amateurs,” the Jerusalem Quartet said in a statement, The NY Times continued.

“Every single voice has uplifted us,” the quartet added. “It is overwhelming to experience this extraordinary community to help remind the world of humanitarian values and artistic expression which underlie everything we do and believe in.”

After news of the cancellation of the Jerusalem Quartet’s May 16 and 18, 2024 concerts earlier in the week, 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.”

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