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Al Stewart

Still best known for hits such as Year of the Cat and On The Border, Al Stewart pops up every few years with new material. Expect a mix of old and new songs.

Paradiso, Amsterdam, August 6.



Amy Bloom

The American novelist Amy Bloom talks about her latest book, Lucky Us, which is a finalist for the National Book Award and the Critics Circle Award. Set between 1939 and 1949, the story moves from past to future and back again as it follows the half-sisters Eva and Iris on their cross-country journey to Hollywood to pursue Iris' dream of becoming a starlet.

Posthoornkerk, Amsterdam, August 27.




This new play based on the life of Anne Frank uses her writings to tell the story of the two years spent by her and her family in the secret annex in Amsterdam and of events before and after they went into hiding.

There is a multi-lingual translation system available that can be booked free of charge. It takes the form of a tablet and theatre-goers can choose between a written translation and a synopsis of all the scenes. It is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese and Dutch. Audio versions are available in English and German.

Theater Amsterdam, Amsterdam until November 30.



Art Is Therapy

The British writers and philosophers Alain de Bottom and John Armstrong are currently commenting on 150 artworks on display in the Rijksmuseum, from the Middle Ages through to the 20th century, and including items in the Asian Pavilion.

They are focusing on the therapeutic effect art can have and the big questions in life that art can answer.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam until September 7.



Arthur and Lucas Jussen

The young pianists, now 18 and 21 years old, play solo and as a duo. For this concert they play works by Mozart with the Bamberger Symphoniker conducted by Manfred Honeck.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, August 8.



Attila The Stockbroker and Barnstormer

The English punk poet and songwriter is known around the world for his topical, satirical and political poems and lyrics. He performs solo and with his band Barnstormer. The band performs a mixture of punk rock and medieval music, with Attila on vocals, mandolin, violin, crumhorn and recorders, supported by guitar, drums and bass.

Paradiso, Amsterdam, August l.



Ayn Rand

An evening of discussion about Ayn Rand's work and her impact on society and politics, both in the US and in Europe.

Rand (1905-1982), the author of the best-sellers Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, is one of America's most controversial political thinkers, fiercely defending the individual against the collective. Her radical beliefs are considered extreme right-wing in the Netherlands.

However, her focus on authenticity, autonomy and integrity are an inspiration for many artists. One of these is Ivo van Hove of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, who has adapted Rand's novel The Fountainhead for the stage. It is performed with English surtitles on several dates in August and September.

Felix&Foam, Amsterdam, September 1.



BJ Novak

The American author, actor and comedian talks about One More Thing, his collection of bizarre short stories. Novak is probably best known as the character Ryan in the tv series The Office US, on which he was also one of the writers.

People's Place, Amsterdam, August 30.



Calder at the Rijksmuseum

The second in a series of annual international sculpture displays in the garden of the Rijksmuseum features the mobiles, stabiles and standing mobiles of Alexander Calder (1898-1976). They are on loan from major museums and private collections.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam until October 5.



Danish Delight

A three-day festival which brings the finest jazz from Denmark and in which each concert features two bands which represent contemporary Danish jazz.

Among those taking part are the ensemble of strings, percussion and piano led by Jacob Anderskov, The Cabin Project featuring vocalists Kira Skov and Marie Fisker, and percussionist-composer Marilyn Mazur who worked with Miles Davis and now leads her own group.

LantarenVenster, Rotterdam, September 4, 5 and 6.


Jacob Anderskov and Marilyn Mazur also appear in Amsterdam the evening before the festival.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 3.



Darrin McMahon

The American historian discusses his latest book, Divine Fury: A History of Genius, in which he traces how the concept of genius has transformed over time, leading to a 'religion of genius' which led to the excesses of the Nazis followed by the redemption of genius by Einstein, the last of the titans.

McMahon was awarded Best Book of the Year awards by the New York Times and the Washington Post for his previous book, Happiness: A History.

Amstelkerk, Amsterdam, September 15.



David Cronenberg: The Exhibition

The Canadian film-maker David Cronenberg is one of the originators of what is commonly known as the body horror genre, exploring people's fears of bodily transformation and infection. The films from the first part of his career explored these themes mostly through horror and science fiction, but latterly his work has expanded beyond these genres. He has been called 'the most audacious and challenging narrative director in the English-speaking world'.

The exhibition includes props, set photos, costumes and set designs. Among them are the helmet from Videodrome, the typewriter from The Naked Lunch, Rosanna Arquette's brace from Crash and the Telepod from The Fly. There are also extracts from his films.

Eye Film Institute, Amsterdam until September 14.




David Virelles Trio

The groundbreaking New York pianist plays a combination of avant-garde jazz and Cuban music with bass player Thomas Morgan and drummer Eric McPherson.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 13.



De Parade

De Parade consists of a large number of colourful tents which travel the four main cities. Most of the tents offer performances of music, theatre, dance, opera and mime, while others are restaurants or cafes. Whatever the weather, the circus-like atmosphere is a real treat.

And with performances taking between three and forty minutes, it's easy to fit in several each evening. Many are in Dutch, but there are at least twenty shows in English or without words.

Moreelsepark, Utrecht, July 18 to August 3; Martin Luther Kingpark, Amsterdam, August 8 to 24.





Ed van der Elsken

The Dutch photographer and film-maker Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) is famous for his images of Amsterdam dating from the end of World War II to the 1970s. This exhibition features some of his lesser known photos of street scenes, run-down buildings, riots and passers-by. They give a fascinating look at the fashions of the day.

Stadsarchief, Amsterdam until September 14.



Ernst Reijseger Solo

Ernst Reijseger is one of the world's most inventive cello players, shifting between classical, jazz and African music. He brings his unorthodox playing techniques and experimental improvisations to numbers from his solo album, Tell Me Everything.

Felix&Foam, Amsterdam, August 15.



Expedition Silk Road

A glimpse of the long-lost civilisations along the legendary Silk Road, the trade route which ran from China to the Mediterranean from before Christ until the 15th century. The exhibition provides an expedition along the route using 250 objects from the Hermitage collection, including sculpture, precious silks, silver, glass, gold and terracotta excavated by Russian expeditions in the 19th and 20th centuries.

One of the highlights is a more than 9-metre long mural of a deity in battle with predators from the royal palace in Varakhsha (7th-8th century, present-day Uzbekistan). This prized work of art has never left the Hermitage in Russia before, but following its restoration it is on display in Amsterdam during this exhibition.

Hermitage, Amsterdam until September 5.



Flame Games

The Flame Games is a combination of athletics and entertainment with top athletes taking part in sprint, running and hurdling, long and high jump and triathlons for men (shot put, pole vault, 110 metres hurdles) and women (javlin, long jump, 110 metres hurdles).

Among those taking part is Churandy Martina from Curaçao who was part of the Dutch team at the London Olympics and holds the country's record in the 200 metres.

Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam, August 22.



Francis Fukuyama

As a follow-up to his visit to the John Adams Institute in 2011 for his book The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama returns to give a lecture about his new book Political Order and Political Decay, a companion volume to his previous book.

John Adams Institute, Amsterdam, September 26.



Friday Night Skate

Make sure you wear something appropriate for the themed skates through some of Amsterdam's less known areas. They start at around 8.30 pm in the Vondel Park.

The Gay Skate takes place on the evening before the Gay Pride Canal Parade and participants are encouraged to cross-dress: men in their best dress, women in suits and stick-on moustaches.

August 1.

Bretten Lichtjes Skate takes in Amsterdam West and its large green area of Bretten. There will be an extra stop at around 8.45 pm outside the council offices to pick up people who live in the area. Bring a lamp or buy one at the start.

September 19. If it rains, it will be postponed until September 26.

Vondel Park, Amsterdam.


There are also Friday night skates in Utrecht, Tilburg and Groningen, and a Wednesday night skate in Rotterdam.


Gay Pride Canal Parade

Amsterdam's Gay Pride weekend is justifiably famous for its Canal Parade on the Saturday, when around 80 boats full of exotically clad, dancing men and women sail through the centre of the city along the Prinsengracht.

Guest of honour is Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst who will be on the Gay Care Amsterdam boat and will sing during the human rights concert on the Rembrandtplein on the Sunday.

Amsterdam, August 2 and 3. 



Grachten Festival

This festival of classical music takes place along the canals of Amsterdam in unusual places, such as in hotels, churches and museums and on boats and in parks. It attracts an international line-up of musicians.

Among the quirky locations are a disused bridge hut where violinist Dana Zemtsov is to be found; the still under construction pedestrian tunnel under Centraal Station which hosts the Keuris Quartet; and what will be the new metro station Vijzelgracht where Vincent van Amsterdam plays his accordion.

One of the highlights is the Prinsengracht Concert on August 23, which takes place on a pontoon across the Prinsengracht outside the Pulitzer Hotel. The soloist this year is the Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili. She is joined by her husband, the oboe player François Leleux and the members of the ensemble which accompanies them when they tour.

Theater Bellevue and other locations, Amsterdam, August 15 to 24.



Grant Stewart Quintet

Standards from the jazz repertoire played as if written yesterday by the Canadian-born tenor sax player with the full-bodied sound of the tenor sax giants who traverse jazz history.

He is joined by trumpet player John Marshall, pianist Leo Lindberg, bass player Kenji Rabson and drummer Phil Stewart.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 25.



Jeff Wall: Tableaux Pictures Photographs 1996-2013

A selection of nearly forty works by the Canadian photographer Jeff Wall (1946) which offers a survey of his work since 1996. He is best known for his large-scale, back-lit cibachrome photographs, in both black and white and colour, which are tableaux created from his own experiences.

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam until August 3.



Kaiser Chiefs

The indie rock band perform songs from their latest album, Education, Education, Education & War, the first to feature new drummer Vijay Mistry.

Paradiso, Amsterdam, September 11.


Knights Spectacle

A spectacle of all things Middle Ages with jousting, demonstrations with birds of prey, a battle for a defence wall featuring arrows and a complete medieval village showing how the knights and their ladies lived.

Nieuwe Kalfjeslaan, Amstelveen, August 16 and 17.



Lady Gaga

The artRave tour sees the always extraordinarily clad singer perform numbers from her danceable electronic pop album Artpop.

Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, September 24.




Larry Clark

The American film-maker and photographer Larry Clark is probably best known for his 1995 film Kids and his photography book Tulsa.

Tulsa (1971) and Teenage Lust (1983) are his earliest works and reveal a youth culture which at the time was totally unknown to the wider public. Images of sex, violence and drug use permeate both series.

Foam, Amsterdam until September 12.



Michael Moore

Alto sax and clarinet player Michael Moore combines the finesse of American jazz, the idiosyncrasy of European improvisational music and the anarchy of New Dutch Swin in one musician. He performs with three celebrities of the Ddutch improv school: trombone player Wolter Wierbos, bass player Wilbert de Joode and drummer Michael Vatcher.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, August 22.




Minyeshu, who hails from Ethiopia but has lived in the Netherlands since 1996, sings numbers from her new album, Black Ink, which have been specially rearranged into a jazz version for this concert.

Bimhuis, Amsterdam, September 12.



National Opera

The renowned choreographer Sasha Waltz directs Monteverdi's Orfeo, using her own company to create dances for the instrumental passages which intersperse the sung parts. The music is played by the Freiburger BarockConsort conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. Among the soloists are Georg Nigl and Charlotte Hellekant. They are joined by the VocalConsort Berlin.

Muziektheater, Amsterdam, September 3, 5 and 6.

A staged performance of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, a tale of passionate love that falls prey to misunderstandings. It is the first time the Gurrelieder cycle has been performed as a full-scale opera. It is directed by Pierre Audi with sets and costumes by Christof Hetzer. With the Netherlands Philharmonic conducted by Marc Albrecht, the chorus of the National Opera, the KammerChor des ChorForum Essen and soloists including Burkhard Fritz and Emily Magee.

Muziektheater, Amsterdam, September 2, 7 (matinee), 12, 13, 18 and 21 (matinee).



Open Air Theatre

The open air theatre in Amsterdam's Vondel park presents a packed programme featuring pop and classical music concerts, dance ranging from ballet to the Lindy Hop and children's theatre. Check the website for this summer's programme.

Vondelpark, Amsterdam until August 25.



Rembrandt's Saskia

Rembrandt's portrait of his first wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, is on loan from Washington's National Gallery of Art. The portrait, which has recently been restored, has never been shown at a Dutch museum before. 

Rembrandt probably began painting the portrait in 1634/1635, shortly after he and Saskia were married, and only completed it some years later, around 1640. It was last shown in Europe in 1894, in Paris.

Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam until August 2015.



Robeco Summer Nights

This year's summer series of concerts featuring classical, pop and jazz music includes recitals together and apart by the piano-playing brothers Arthur and Lucas Jussen; Leo van Doeselaar with works by Bach and Saint-Saëns on the organ; violinist Simone Lamsma playing Beethoven's violin concerto; fado from Cristina Branco; and film music by Nino Rota, John Williams and Howard Shore.

The closing concert is a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta with violinist Janine Jansen.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam until August 31.



Roman Vishniac (Re)discovered

The photographer Roman Vishniac (1897-1990) is known throughout the world for his images of Jewish life in eastern Europe before World War II. However, recent discoveries show that during his fifty-year career Vishniac also photographed Berlin street scenes in the 1920s, the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s and Jewish refugees in Europe and America in the 1930s and 1940s.

His sharp black and white photos are now the subject of this major exhibition.

Jewish Historic Museum, Amsterdam until August 24.



Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

The Chinese pianist Yuja Wang is the soloist for Shostakovich's piano concerto nr 1. Also on the programme are Rossini's The Thieving Magpie and Prokofiev's symphony nr 5. Mariss Jansons conducts.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, September 17, 18, 19 and 21 (matinee).

A performance of Ligeti's Requiem, together with works by Ockeghem, Varèse and Ravel. Conductor Jonathan Nott and the orchestra are joined by contralto Allyson McHardy, soprano Jane Archibald, the Flemish Radio Choir and the Dutch broadcasting choir.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, September 25.




The Dam tot Damloop is a 10 mile road race between Amsterdam and Zaandam. This year it celebrates its 30th edition with an extra event on the Saturday evening: the four mile Damloop at night. This takes place over a shortened version of the main route.

A total of around 65,000 runners are expected to take part in both events. In addition, 16,000 walkers and 6,000 cyclists will take part in their respective events.

The start is on the Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam and Zaandam, September 20 and 21.



Storioni Trio

The trio plays Beethoven's Grand Duke trio and Mendelssohn's energetic piano trio nr 2.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, August 2.




The HDI Gerling Rotterdam Open is an international tennis competition for up-and-coming players. It is played on gravel with referees and linesmen from the International Tennis Federation.

32 male and female players compete for prize money of $15,000 for the men and $10,000 for the women.

Victoria Tennis Club, Kralingen, Rotterdam, August 23 to 31.


Davis Cup tennis as the Netherlands plays Croatia for a place in the world group. The Ziggo Dome has laid a special indoor gravel court for the three-days of play-offs.

Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, September 12, 13 and 14.


The Art of the Brick

The bricks in question are those made by Lego from which the American artist Nathan Sawaya is able to build just about anything. This exhibition is a selection of 75 of his works, ranging from a full size dinosaur to 3D versions of famous paintings such as Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, and classical statutes including Michelangelo's David.

His website brickartist.com is well worth a look to see what else he has made. On the site he says he likes to place his yellow Hugman character somewhere in the city where an exhibition takes place.

Amsterdam Expo, Amsterdam until September 14.



Toneelgroup Amsterdam

The largest repertory company of the Netherlands presents its productions with English surtitles throughout August and then on Thursday evenings.

The Entertainer, John Osborne's portrayal of three generations of vaudeville artists, paints a grim picture of an England in decline in the late 1950s. Gijs Scholten van Aschat takes centre stage as Archie Rice in director Eric de Vroedt's rather overly hysterical production.

Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam, August 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23.

The Fountainhead is based on Ayn Rand's 1943 novel of the same name. The protagonist is the architect Howard Roark, who embodies what the author believes to be the ideal human spirit. Roark's struggles reflect Rand's belief that individualism trumps collectivism. Among the cast of this production directed by Ivo van Hove are Ramsey Nasr, Halina Reijn and Tamar van den Dop.

There is an evening of discussion of Ayn Rand's work at Felix&Foam in Amsterdam on September 1. (www.john-adams.nl)

Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam, August 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, September 4 and 18.




The new cultural season opens with the annual Uitmarkt where opera companies, choirs, orchestras, theatre and dance companies, museums and many more offer information about their forthcoming performances and exhibitions. There are also tasters in the form of indoor and outdoor performances.

Museumplein and Leidseplein, Amsterdam, August 29 to 31.



War Horse

If you've seen Steven Spielberg's film version of Michael Morpurgo's children's book but would really like to see the original theatre production with its amazing puppets, this Dutch version is easy to follow. The story is simple: boy buys horse, horse is sequestered by the army, boy joins up to find his horse. The action moves from rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France.

Theater Carré, Amsterdam until September 28.



More What's on

  • Bryan Adams
  • Attila The Stockbroker and Barnstormer
  • The Homesman
  • Storioni Trio
  • Gay Pride Canal Parade
  • Jeff Wall: Tableaux Pictures Photographs 1996-2013
  • Delft Chamber Music Festival
  • Show jumping
  • Al Stewart
  • Sailing
  • Arthur and Lucas Jussen
  • Pet Shop Boys
  • Ernst Reijseger Solo
  • Knights Spectacle
  • Theatre Festival Boulevard
  • Flame Games
  • Michael Moore
  • Beach volleyball
  • Roman Vishniac (Re)discovered
  • Grachten Festival
  • De Parade
  • Open Air Theatre
  • Amy Bloom
  • BJ Novak
  • From the Guggenheim Collection to the Cobra Museum: International Abstraction 1949-1960
  • Robeco Summer Nights
  • Mummies: Surviving After Death
  • Residentie Orchestra
  • Uitmarkt
  • Sculpture The Hague
  • Hans Klok
  • Ayn Rand
  • Danish Delight
  • Hortus Festival
  • Expedition Silk Road
  • Sky! - in Dutch Art Since 1850
  • Early Music Festival
  • Motor sport
  • Art Is Therapy
  • Seurat: Master of Pointillism
  • Kaiser Chiefs
  • Minyeshu
  • Larry Clark
  • Rowing
  • David Virelles Trio
  • The Art of the Brick
  • Gergiev Festival
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Ed van der Elsken
  • David Cronenberg: The Exhibition
  • Darrin McMahon
  • The new season of fairs begins in September
  • Toneelgroup Amsterdam
  • Benjamin Herman Trio
  • Friday Night Skate
  • National Opera
  • Running
  • Paul Noble - Nobson
  • Organ Recitals
  • Lady Gaga
  • Tribute to Neil Diamond
  • Gideon van Gelder
  • Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Grant Stewart Quintet
  • Francis Fukuyama
  • Flat Earth Society & Mauro Pawlowski
  • Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens: The Flemish Baroque
  • War Horse
  • National Tattoo
  • Rotterdam Philharmonic
  • Calder at the Rijksmuseum
  • Ilse de Lange & The Common Linnets
  • Il Divo
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Amsterdam Dance Event
  • Jimmy Carr
  • Anastacia
  • Elvis Costello
  • The Pretty Things
  • Festival Jazz International Rotterdam
  • Level 42
  • Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings
  • Michael BublĂ©
  • Caro Emerald
  • Marianne Faithfull
  • Glorious Heroes
  • Marga Weimans
  • Anne
  • The Spanish Riding School
  • PAN Amsterdam
  • The War of the Worlds
  • Ennio Morricone
  • Once Upon A Time...The Collection Now
  • Disney Mania
  • Maurits House: The Building
  • ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament
  • Moving Magic
  • Katy Perry
  • Football
  • Music Show Scotland
  • Rembrandt's Saskia
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