Amsterdam concert hall cancels Jerusalem string quartet

Let the music take control. Photo: BMZ Amsterdam via Wikimedia Commons

Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw concert hall has cancelled two concerts by the Jerusalem Quartet because it had been notified about demonstrations and because of “recent events” at protests in Amsterdam.

The Israeli string quartet was due to perform on Thursday and Saturday, but ticket holders have now been told the concerts will not go ahead. 

“This decision was not taken lightly,” a spokesman told Trouw. “But we want to guarantee the safety of our staff, our visitors – who are often elderly – and the musicians.”

There was contact with both the mayor’s office and the police, but ultimately it was the Concertgebouw’s decision to cancel, he said.

Pro-Palestine demonstrators have already disrupted two concerts by the quartet in the Netherlands – one in February in The Hague and one in Amsterdam in January. They argue the quartet is used to “polish” Israel’s reputation and deflect attention from the situation in Gaza. 

Jewish community group CJO described the decision by the Concertgebouw as “unbelievable” and accused the organisers of “giving new meaning to the term cancel culture”. 

The quartet itself said on social media that the decision was a “capitulation to bullying and terrorism”.

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