Concert in artist’s atelier in Amsterdam Western Islands

The Amsterdam-based artist Egon Schrama is also a keen supporter of the arts. His 6 metre high atelier on Bickersgracht in the Western Islands of Amsterdam (just a stone’s throw away from the central station) will once again be turned into a concert venue on 29th July 2010. There are three Western islands “Westelijke eilanden”: Prinseneiland, Realeneiland and Bickerseiland. The islands are linked by beautiful draw bridges.

The first time I went to Egon’s atelier was to see the artist Serge van Empelen making huge sculptures. When I asked Egon Schrama how tall his atelier was —- I misheard it as being 60 metres and quite believed it. I’ve now been told by his friends, who help organise ad hoc house concerts in their neighbourhood of the Western Islands of Amsterdam, that the atelier is just 6 metres high.

The Western Islands of Amsterdam. Photo: J. Huber
The Western Islands of Amsterdam. Photo: J. Huber

These three Western Islands “Westelijke eilanden” are Prinseneiland, Realeneiland and Bickerseiland. The islands are linked by beautiful draw bridges. Many artists live and work on these islands. Every year in the Pentecost weekend they open up their ateliers for the public. Started 28 years ago and among the first to be organised in the country, the Open Ateliers on the Western Islands are now a well known phenomenon.

On Thursday 29th July 2010 this group of friends will organise and host a concert of contemporary works for the American violin and guitar duo called Duo46. Just recently, the same group of friends had organised a house concert for our piano guitar duo on a neighbouring island. Click to download information about the 29th July concert in 1-page PDF.

It is worthwhile to come a bit earlier, to have time to walk around on the islands, or even have a picnic. The canals and public gardens are lovely and have a village atmosphere. There is even an animal farm for children.

The Western Islands of Amsterdam. Photo: J. Huber
The Western Islands of Amsterdam. Photo: J. Huber

How to get to Egon’s Atelier, 10 Bickersgracht, Amsterdam:

From Amsterdam Central Station, it’s a mere 13 minute journey, including the 4 minute bus ride. Get bus 18, 21, or 22 which will take you westbound. Get off at the third bus stop “Buiten Oranjestraat” and walk on the same side as the street but go under the bridge (north).

Metered parking is available. There are no trams here. A taxi from Central Station costs € 7.50.

Future blogs about venues for live music concerts

Something about live music in artists’ work places fascinates me. In London Ealing, Yousif Naser has been turning his studio into a gallery and concert hall for at least a decade. In Utrecht, our piano guitar duo gave a concert in the home of a local artist.