Antillean pianist and composer Wim Statius Muller had once said: ‘You can be 84, you can be almost dying, but you play!’ demonstrating his dedication and unfailing love of music. This week Queen Beatrix awarded him the Zilveren Anjer for his phenomenal contribution to the musical heritage of Curaçao.
In the introductory speech held prior to receiving his award, Statius Muller was called the ’Curaçao Chopin’ in reference to Chopin’s enormous influence on the music of the island.
Statius Muller was not the sole receiver of an award at the ceremony held at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam; three equally deserving contributors to the Netherlands cultural heritage were also honoured on this occasion. Reint Wobbes, for his conservation work of medieval churches and graveyards in Groningen and the couple Clemens van der Ven and his wife Neeltje for their dedication to the Arts and generous donation of their historic home, including priceless antiques, to the community.
The Zilveren Anjer (Silver Carnation) award was initiatiated by Prince Bernhard in collaboration with the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds (Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation). In 1950 Queen Beatrix’s father presented the first zilveren anjer to Dutch citizens for their extraordinary devotion to preservation and conservation of Dutch culture within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. All work must be on a voluntary basis with no personal or financial gain.
Wim Statius Muller will shortly be releasing his latest CD Antillean Treasures.
For more about Statius Muller: I interviewed Wim Statius Muller for The Underground paper in January 2012.