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Leo van Doeselaar

Not many people are aware that The Netherlands and Bhutan for some decades now have maintained special relationships with each other in such diverse fields as politics, education, culture and sports.

The year 2008 will be a special year for the Bhutanese: The Royal Centenary celebrations will take place throughout the country; the present King will be crowned the fifth Druk Gyalpo; for the first time general elections took place; and parliament endorsed the constitution. Reasons enough for a celebration to tighten the friendly relationship between both countries.

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 When celebrating with friends, there should be music. In two performances, the famous pianoduo Wyneke Jordans and Leo van Doeselaar will play the grand piano, the first ever classical piano concerts in Bhutan. Problem is, that there is neither such an instrument nor even a normal piano in good condition to be found in Bhutan. In 2001, the duo played the Yamaha piano that belonged to one of the queens, Ashi, the mother to the present King of Bhutan. Unfortunately, the piano’s mechanism had been eaten away by mice to some extent and repairs consisted of creative efforts with wire and cotton wool. The concert lasted only thirty minutes. Despite the fact that many Bhutanese love classical music, there has never been a classical piano concert in the country.

Reason enough to offer a new grand piano to the Kingdom of Bhutan, as a symbol of friendship between the Netherlands and Bhutan. The grand piano is now on its way by sea to Calcutta and will be transported by road to Thimphu, Bhutan's capital. It will be handed over to the people of Bhutan and played on by the pianoduo at the Royal Concert on November 22 and the Public Concert on Clock Tower Square in Thimphu on November 23, 2008. A Cultural Fund will ensure its maintenance and future concerts in Bhutan. This gift to Bhutan, the grand piano and the two concerts, will be the start of a cultural programme between Bhutan and the Netherlands.

Further information :
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