Concert life in the DUTCH EAST INDIES/ INDONESIA
Concert life in the Dutch East Indies
This web site attempts to fill a gap by calling attention to an often-neglected aspect of musical life in the former Dutch East Indies. The period following the Japanese occupation has been particularly neglected by the press and as far as we know, no book has ever been written on the subject. We have spent years compiling this information by making it available on the Web we hope that this subject will receive the attention it deserves. Few members of the generation of listeners who attended the concerts are still living.
The need for Western art was keenly felt among those who were relatively well off. The Europeans in particular sought to continue their lives overseas in the manner to which they were accustomed. Theatre, dance, literature and classical music in particular provided relief from all the hard work.
In the big cities, chamber-music ensembles and even orchestras made up of enthusiastic amateur musicians regularly gave performances. The Bond van Kunstkringen [Association of Art Societies] would invite world-famous musicians to give concert tours; these musicians were provided further publicity via the radio. The Erasmus Huis in Jakarta will now be assuming this role to the extent it is able.