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Red Light in Amsterdam


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Thought I'd go to an organ recital, off the street, since I was staying a few minutes away from the Nicolaaskerk, chief Catholic Church of Amsterdam, bang opposite Centraal Station. Wednesday evening recital series, beginning today, properly advertised outside the church. Big Sauer organ, the only substantial German romantic organ in the city. 8 euros, which is a bargain for any activity in Amsterdam these days. Huge church: couldn't get a seat. Because I was five minutes late. Tried to open the eight front doors. No dice. Rang every doorbell in the pastorate next door. No. Walked round the church. Hmm. North and South sides are completely covered with buildings and the east end is ducked in the canal. Another time I will break into the nh hotel next door and make my way up the service stair and drill from the ventilation shaft. The recital could be heard wafting out of the church...Great advertisement for the organ world. Yes, I know the football's on tonight. It starts in an hour.

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Dear ptintal,


I was sorry to read your story this morning. I have checked with the verger and staff on the door, and it seems that the recital began at about 20.20, and the verger closed the door at 20.30. Since visitors enter under the organ, this is always the case to avoid disturbing the listeners. If you are still in the city, and you make yourself known at the desk at 15.55, I can offer you a private showing this afternoon, when the church closes. Maybe that will make up for your disapointment at missing Andrew Dewar's splendid recital.


Best wishes,


Michael Hedley

Titulair Organist,

Basilica of St. Nicholas, Amsterdam

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