Amerikaan in Haagse dienst

Arthur Moore is mijn buurman maar hij is toch vooral Amerikaan. Hoe hij zo’n 46 jaar geleden in Nederland verzeild raakte is best een aardig verhaal.

Hij is musicus, klassiek trombonist, geschoold aan een prestigieus conservatorium in de VS. Toen Willem van Otterloo, dirigent van het Haagse Residentie Orkest, hem tijdens een auditie in New York had horen spelen, bood hij Arthur een vaste plaats aan in zijn orkest en wel de onbezette stoel van de 1ste trombonist. De anekdote wil dat hij reageerde met de vraag welke taal ze daar in Holland nou precies spreken…

Nederland de 51ste staat?
Ik heb Art gevraagd met welke verwachtingen hij naar ‘zijn’ presidentsverkiezing heeft gekeken. Hoe hij de bovenmatige aandacht ervaart die Hillary en Trump in ons land ten deel viel. En of het terecht is dat Nederland wel eens de 51ste staat van Amerika wordt genoemd. Arthur Moore antwoordt in de taal die hij, after al those years, nog steeds het beste beheerst.


“On September 11, 2001, I was in rehearsel for a concert in Het Concertgebouw…”

When I first joined the Residentie Orkest in 1970, I noticed that the radio and television had extensive coverage of news from the U.S., mostly concerned with the effects of U.S. foreign and economic policies on the rest of the world – particularly Europe – and that seemed quite normal to me: “When America has a cold, the whole world sneezes!”
What did surprise me somewhat was the vehemence of some of the anti – American rhetoric here with respect to our involvement in Viet Nam. Now – years later – it seems far less surprising.
Over the years I received commentary from family, friends and colleagues about various aspects of American politics, and usually found myself in agreement with them on most issues. It has been very moving to me to see how interested, and even concerned, many of my friends and colleagues have been about the elections every four years. I can think of one instance, however, where my American mind set was strongly in conflict with that of my colleagues. On September 11, 2001, I was in rehearsal for a concert that evening in Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Reinbert de Leeuw was conducting the Schoenberg Ensemble in De Staat by Louis Andriessen.
In the afternoon, during the intermission, shocking TV images from New York began to arrive in the Artist Foyer, where we were having lunch, and intense discussions ensued concerning whether or not to cancel the concert. Most of the musicians were in favor of cancellation, but several of us were not. I felt strongly that the terrorists should not be allowed to claim a victory, even though it was only a concert.I still feel that it was weak not to have protested by playing the concert anyway – to show our respect for the victims.
I do hope that the new administration in Washington will be able to maintain the warm relationship our two countries have always had.
But until the U.S. reverses the course changes ushered in by the 2016 election, I don’t think Holland should even consider joining the USA as 51st state!

Arthur Moore

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