On 15 March Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands probably paid her last official visit as a Queen to my hometown Groningen, so there was no doubt about it that I would go and see her. She attended a jubilee concert of the Noord Nederlands Orkest in De Oosterpoort. During the season 2012/2013 the 150-year-old orchestra celebrates with several special concerts. Yesterday evening the orchestra, led by conductor Stefan Asbury, played the Violinconcert no 2 by Sergei Prokofiev and the Symphony nr 5 in d. opus 47 by Dmitri Shostakovich. The soloist was the well-known violinist Charlie Siem from London. For someone like me, who doesn’t know much about music, it was very interesting to see how intensive he was playing.
The Queen arrived in a somewhat wet and cold Groningen. There was a small incident upon the Queen’s arrival. When walking to the entrance of De Oosterpoort she stumbled on her way down the red carpet. What happened exactly remains unclear, but for the Queen it must have been pretty embarrassing and the photographers were begged not to take photographs. Happily she seemed to be unhurt.
I am sure the Queen loved the concert too. Upon arrival in the concert hall the Queen received an enthusiastic welcome with a long applause. The concert started after the brand new app of the Noord Nederlands Orkest was presented. She only left for the break and the end of the concert after having joined the audience in a long applause for the orchestra and the violinist. In the break the Queen received the jubilee book of the orchestra, which she happily accepted.