Classical music in the botanical garden

Ragazze Kwartet, 25 May 2015

This cell phone photo shows Dutch classical music group Ragazze Kwartet on 25 May 2015; during a concert in the botanical garden in Leiden.

They played Maurice Ravel‘s string quartet in F major.

This video shows another time when they played that.

The Ragazze Kwartet consists of Rosa Arnold, violin; Jeanita Vriens, violin; Annemijn Bergkotte, viola; and Kirsten Jenson, cello.

Classical and folk rock music

Willem Bodhi in concert, 24 May 2015

On 24 May 2015, Willem Bodhi played guitar and sang, as this cell phone photo shows.

This was an open air concert in the courtyard of the Jean Michelhof in Leiden; built in 1687 for housing elderly French-speaking refugees. The Jean Michelhof is a ‘hofje‘, a courtyard with almshouses around it. There are over thirty hofjes in Leiden. They used to be for elderly people. Today, mainly students and others live there.

Jean Michelhof courtyard, photo by Biccie

This photo shows the Jean Michelhof when the courtyard is empty.

This is a video of Willem Bodhi playing to thousands of people at the Parkpop rock festival in 2014 in The Hague.

In the small Jean Michelhof courtyard, though it was jam-packed, of course far less people could listen. Still, things went well, as the weather was sunny.

One of the songs Willem sang was ‘Here comes the sun‘, originally by George Harrison; with its line ‘It’s all right’. It’s all right with me as well … as long as that sun is not Rupert Murdoch‘s Sun :)

Among Willem’s other songs was another Beatles song, Come Together.

This concert was part of a big series of concerts with various types of music in the hofjes of Leiden, on 23-25 May.

Earlier on 24 May, we had heard another concert, also packed, at the somewhat larger Pieter Loridanshof.

A group of three musicians: Isabel Favilla on recorder and baroque bassoon; Filipa Meneses on viola da gamba; and Giulio Quirici on theorbo played baroque music there.

Lavinia Meijer, Carel Kraayenhof concert report

In this 26 April 2015 Dutch TV video, Dutch harp player Lavinia Meijer is interviewed; and plays Clair de lune, by Claude Debussy.

And in this music video, Dutch bandoneon player Carel Kraayenhof and his group play one of Kraayenhof’s compositions, Desconcierto.

Lavinia Meijer and Carel Kraayenhof met two years ago, in Carré theatre in Amsterdam. They decided they would like to do concerts together. Bandoneon and harp is a unique combination.

On 22 May 2015, they played together in the Hooglandse Kerk, Saint Pancras church, in Leiden. This is a big late medieval Gothic church. Very many people had come for the concert. Some people had to stand.

First, Meijer and Kraayenhof played Enrique Granados Campiña, #5 of 12 danzas españolas.

Then, a milonga by Jorge Cardoso from Argentina. In this and other Argentine music, Ms Meijer’s harp played a role somewhat similar to guitars in Argentine musical tradition.

Then, Nata blanca, by Kraayenhof himself. The title means ‘White nose'; because Kraayenhof’s cat has a white nose.

Then, La puñalada, by Uruguyan composer Pintín Castellanos.

Then, three compositions by Astor Piazzolla: Burdel; Café; and Nightclub.

Concert Meijer-Kraayenhof, 22 May 2015

This cell phone photo was taken while Nightclub was played.

Then, a harp solo by Lavinia Meijer: Clair de lune, by Debussy.

Kraayenhof returned to the stage, to join in playing Il postino, by Luis Bacalov. This is music from the film of the same name; about the exile of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in Italy.

Then, Kraayenhof’s Desconcierto.

Then, Anselmo Aieta‘s Palomita blanca.

Then, Kraayenhof’s own work again: So many partings.

Finally, Mariano Mores, Taquito militar.

As the audience clapped enthusiastically, there was an encore: Lo que vendrá, by Astor Piazzolla.

In this video, two guitarists play Lo que vendrá.

As I left the church, five swifts flying together over a roof, calling.

Hobby news from the Netherlands

This is a hobby video.

In the Stadhoudersplantsoen in The Hague, year after year, a hobby couple nests. They nest in an old crows’ nest in an old tree which may be cut down soon. Local conservationists have put an artificial nest in another tree not far away, to provide alternative space.

Also, two artificial hobby nests were placed in Sorghvliet park elsewhere in The Hague.

In Leiden, there will be research whether a plan to cut down trees can go ahead or not, as a hobby couple may nest in one of those trees.

Botanical garden news from Leiden, the Netherlands

This video is about a carnivorous plants show in the Hortus botanicus in Leiden, the Netherlands.

From the botanical garden in Leiden:

Special publication: free Jubilee booklet

From April 1st 2015 onwards, visitors of the Hortus botanicus Leiden will receive a colourful booklet about the history of the Hortus, written by our collection manager Gerda van Uffelen. It is available in English, German, Dutch and Bahasa Indonesia. It is slightly larger and thicker than our usual Hortus walking-tour guides. Available while stocks lasts.

Symposium Botanic gardens in a changing world

A two-day symposium on the new tasks and challenges of botanical gardens today and in the future. The conference will take place on 17th and 18th of April 2015 and will be hosted by the Hortus botanicus Leiden on the occasion of the 425th anniversary of the botanical garden.

Click here.

Wheelbarrowexposition From Clusius to black tulip

A small exposition about the history behind tulips and the search for a black tulip. In 2015, the Hortus botanicus Leiden is 425 years old. The first prefect, Carolus Clusius, was cultivating tulips in the garden and from the Hortus botanicus Leiden the tulip began her victory march through the Netherlands. April 1st-May 1st 2015.

Online information collection has been expanded

Recently, the amount of English information concerning our Hortus botanicus Leiden has been significantly expanded.

Click here.

English walking tour

On eight different dates this summer you will be able to attend a walking tour of the garden with an English-speaking guide. These provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the history of the Hortus and about our ‘crown jewels’. These tours start at 11:00 on: 02.07, 09.07, 16.07, 23.07, 30.07, 06.08, 13.08, 20.08, 27.08. Fee is €1.50 plus entrance to the garden. No need to book, just come along!

Botanical drawing

Anita Walsmit Sachs regularly organizes botanical drawing courses in the Hortus, and by popular demand she will be giving lessons in English in April 2015. Be sure to register on time, as there is always a lot of interest in the botanical drawing courses.

Click here.

Clusiussymposium: Other Ways of Gardening

The Clusius Foundation proudly announces the international symposium on Other ways of Gardening. It will take place in Leiden on the Friday the 29th of May, 2015. This symposium follows in the footsteps of the International Symposium ‘The Authentic Garden’ of 1990. It will be organized in collaboration with the Institute of Cultural Anthropology of Leiden University.

Click here.

Albert Einstein visual arts exhibition

This is a video about a 2008 exhibition in the Lakenhal and Boerhaave museums in Leiden, the Netherlands about the Kamerlingh Onnes family. Some people in that family were physicists (with a special interest in cold temperatures), some were visual artists.

Albert Einstein, 1920 drawing by Harm Kamerlingh Onnes

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Albert Einstein in Leiden museum

Today, 19:23

Leiden artist Harm Kamerlingh Onnes (1893-1985) has portrayed twenty renowned scholars in the years when they visited his uncle, the Nobel Prize winner Heike Kamerlingh Onnes. Among them was Albert Einstein. Boerhaave Museum in Leiden has now acquired these sketches and drawings. The majority was not known until now.

Harm was in 1920 and 1921 also regularly found in the laboratory of his uncle Heike, who was doing research on absolute zero temperature (-273 ° C). He made portraits and recorded how his uncle and staff were busy with their experiments.


The physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes received the Nobel Prize in 1913. In his Leiden home, Huize ter Wetering at the Galgewater, at that time many foreign guests visited.

The house was a meeting place for scholars and artists, including Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. They met there Dutch artists like Jan Toorop, Albert Verwey and Carel Lion Cachet.


The collection of drawings is from the estate of a son of Harm Kamerlingh Onnes. A selection will be on show from 21 February until 26 April at the Museum Boerhaave in Leiden. About the family of scientists and artists an accompanying booklet has been published with the title Koude, kunst, Kamerlingh Onnes [Cold, art, Kamerlingh Onnes], written by Dirk van Delft.

See also here. And here.