The ever-popular celebrated Dutch superstar Herman Van Veen returns to South Africa in January 2017 for three concerts. This is van Veen's 5th visit to South Africa and once again he will mesmerize audiences with songs, sketches, mime and just being "vintage Van Veen", accompanied by master guitarist Edith Leerkes, singer/violinist Jannemien Cnossen and bassist Kees Dijkstra Not only is Van Veen a multi-talented performer, singer, musician, and composer he is also a painter and committed activist for the Rights of the Child.
Presented by Charl van Heyningen Enterprises, van veen begins his 2017 SA Tour at the Artscape Opera House with a concerts on Saturday, 14 January at 8:00pm. Thereafter van Veen will be on stage at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch, on Friday, 21 January and Saturday 22 January. Both concerts will begin at 8:15pm. Tickets on sale at Computicket.
Van Veen first performed in South Africa in 1995, the second year of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn. SA Promoter, Charl van Heyningen brought van Veen to SA in 2008 and then again in 2010 and 2013.
Born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, van Veen grew up as the only boy in a working-class family. He studied violin, voice and music pedagogy at the Utrecht Conservatory. In 1965 he made his theatrical debut with the musical, clownish, solo program, Harlequin. Since then he has traveled the globe, performing in four languages. He is the creator of Alfred Jodocus Kwak, a courageous little duck from Waterland who became world-famous thanks to a 52 episode television series. To date he has recorded 175 CDs, 21 DVDs, some seventy-odd books, scenarios for several feature-length films.
Since he was 17 years old he has filled several successive roles, from volunteer to governing board member and goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. He established several organizations among which are The Colombine Foundation, The Roses for Children Foundation and The Herman Van Veen Foundation. All of these organizations are committed to and ask attention for the Rights of the Child through knowledge sharing and small-scale projects in developing countries as well as in Europe.
Herman is holder many prestigious awards and accolades of the highest order. In 1993, he was decorated by the Dutch Queen and made Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau. In 1999, because of his special contributions to German-Dutch relations, he received, on behalf of the President of the German Republic, a Cross of Merit. In 2008, by royal decree, Herman was promoted to Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Other awards include: a Golden Camera (for Alfred Jodocus Kwak); a Silver Bear (Berlin Film Festival); nine Edisons (the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy) and several awards at The International TV and Film Festival in New York plus the Edison Collected Work Award for his vast body of work and outstanding contributions to Dutch music.
In 2004, he was presented with the World Peace Flame, symbolizing peace, freedom, unity and truth and inspired by the eternal flame, which burns in the house of Mahatma Gandhi. In 2005, The Club of Budapest awarded him The Planetary Consciousness Award, an award previously bestowed upon Michael Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela. In that same year he also received, from Sabine Christiansen, the Martin Buber Commemorative Plaque 2005 for the respectful and loving manner in which he is involved with his fellow man. This award, established in 2002, was first presented to former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and in 2007 to human rights activist and top model Waris Dirie. Last year the Martin Buber University Brussels/Kerkrade appointed Van Veen Professor Honoris Causa in appreciation of his commitment to the human rights and wellbeing of the child in our society.
After the death of his parents Van Veen began to paint. His work is often abstract and monochrome and can now be seen in a number of European galleries and museums. In February of 2008, a Dutch postage stamp of Van Veen was released, a milestone marking - as he put it - the halfway point in his life.