2022 String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam Cancelled

The festival's organizers have called for ticket holders to donate the cost of their tickets to the musicians

(Photo credit: Ben Bonouvrier)


New measures implemented by the Dutch government to slow the spread of the COVID-19 have caused the organizers of the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam (SQBA) to cancel this year's festival, to be held from January 29 until  February 5, 2022.

The event's organizers had made several different contingency plans over the last few weeks as restrictions tightened, but have been forced to conclude that a successful festival cannot be held in the present climate.

Instead, the SQBA will be held as a radio event in collaboration with Dutch Radio 4, and performances will be broadcast live from the Muziekgebouw concert hall. The programs will still include two world premieres by composers Jonathan Dove and Osvaldo Golijov.

The festival is encouraging ticket holders to donate the cost of their tickets to the festival, in order to support the artists. SQBA has also called for patrons to make a one-off donation to the festival if they are able, with all proceeds going to the musicians and the festival's freelance staff.

"Cancelling a festival that only takes place once every two years is, of course, an unimaginable disappointment for everyone involved in the preparation and for all visitors and musicians who had been looking forward to the festival," said Yasmin Hilberdink, the festival's Artistic Director.

"But with every measure from the government we lose a vital piece of the whole — we can only cut away so much until we’re actually left with something that has nothing to do with a festival anymore," she added.