new chairs for de Jurriaanse Zaal

While the acoustics of de Jurriaasne Zaal are praised worldwide, the seats were a lot less so, back in 2021. The seats were still from the 1990s and although vintage can be beautiful and charming, we go for top quality. Our visitors should be able to enjoy our concerts in complete comfort (and without squeaky seats!). That includes good chairs. It was high time for a major refurbishment!

The purchase of new seats required a substantial investment, which we could not bring up on our own in corona times. In 2021, we therefore launched the crowdfunding campaign 'Chairs for de Doelen'. Engaged Doelen fans and music lovers could contribute to the purchase of new chairs through this crowdfunding.

chairs for de Doelen

The purchase of new chairs required a substantial investment that we could not raise on our own. In 2021, we therefore launched the crowdfunding campaign 'Chairs for de Doelen'. Engaged Doelen fans and music lovers could contribute to the purchase of new chairs through this crowdfunding campaign. 

By donating a whole or half chair, they could contribute to the purchase of the new chairs. For companies, there was the possibility of donating a whole row of seats. There was also the possibility of donating a free amount.

a successful campaign

The crowdfunding was a success; the generosity of our community proved enormous. Corporates, funds and Doelen fans with a heart for music and our concert hall made a contribution. Port of Rotterdam took 90 seats for its account. A symbolic number to celebrate the Rotterdam company's 90th anniversary. We also received a substantial contribution from the Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht and from funds including the Erasmusstichting, the Elise Mathilde Fund and the Van Cappellen Foundation.

Companies involved such as Eneco, Greenchoice, AVR and Accenture also made larger donations. Loyal visitors also did their bit; several private individuals made a special contribution. In total, the campaign raised € 344,870, a fantastic sum that allowed the chairs to be realised.

about the Jurriaanse Zaal

The fact that de Doelen is also a concert hall becomes clear in the Jurriaanse Kwartier. White leather seats, chandeliers, marble floors: this quarter exudes allure. The Jurriaanse Zaal is a characteristic concert hall, where the cube shapes on the wall contribute to optimal acoustics. The plenary room is equipped with the most modern facilities and is suitable for groups of 100-600.

our 'Jur', one of the best chamber music
venues in the world
De Doelen has been the cultural heart of the city of Rotterdam since 1966 and is now a national monument from the reconstruction. One of the iconic concert halls is the Jurriaanse Zaal, known as the 'Jur' among Doelen employees.
Helena Basilova in our Jur'

the 1997 renovation

De Kleine Zaal changed its name after the renovation in 1997, largely thanks to the support of the J.E. Jurrian Foundation. The namesake, J.E. Jurriaanse (1906–1991), was a Rotterdam manufacturer who donated his assets to Rotterdam charities.

The hall was considerably improved during this renovation. From an unmerciful, ‘cold’ hall, the hall was transformed into the 'warm’ Jurriaanse Zaal, one of the best chamber music halls in Europe with 591 seats. A fine example of Rob Metkemeijer of acoustic agency Peutz. 

the 2023 renovation

The renovation needed to accommodate the new seats was also the perfect time to upgrade some other aspects of the hall. Here, we had the help of Rotterdam City Council, which managed the renovation. New air treatment units were installed so that the air quality in the hall could be regulated even better. Part of the hall lights were also updated, replacing the old lamps with sustainable LED lamps. 

not just any chair

When realising new chairs, one thing was certain; they will be used intensively by enthusiastic music lovers for years to come. It was therefore important to create the perfect chair, which is durable in terms of quality and, of course, comfortable to sit in. We got help from experts on chairs and seating. 

They examined the ultimate seating angle for the most relaxed seating, the finish of the padding, the quality of the construction and the impact on acoustics. The angle of the bulge, the distance between the chairs as well as the length of the seat were also considered; nothing was left to chance.

The final seating was measured by acoustic consultancy PEUTZ in order to determine the final acoustic values of the seats and room. For the technical procurement process, we were guided by theatre consultancy PBTA. The final result is shown below. 

from chamber music to cabaret

The Jurriaanse Zaal has been the place to be for many concert series since the early 1970s. Think of family performances, series with guitar, piano, chamber music, song recitals, early music and the contemporary music series Red Sofa. The hall is also regularly devoted to the better jazz and is also popular for preliminary talks and introductions.


Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
The opening of 1966 with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in Kleine Zaal.

De Kamermuziek-
Since 1907, De Kamermuziekvereeniging Rotterdam has been bringing world-class chamber music to Rotterdam and since 1966 to de Doelen. The series 'Famous String Quartets' has therefore become an integral part of our programming.

Ramses Shaffy & Liesbeth List
Ramses Shaffy & Liesbeth List will venture 'en chantant' to the Kleine Zaal on 1 December. With overwhelming success, many more acclaimed visits will follow the following year, before the two are regularly guests together in front of a larger audience in the Grote Zaal, also on Sunday mornings.

Herman van Veen
Comedian Herman van Veen (who already performed in the Kleine Zaal, now Jurriaanse Zaal, before the opening in 1966) will perform three evenings in January in de Doelen. He decides to play more music than at other shows he gives that year. "Because de Doelen has such fantastic acoustics," says the singer.

Kraftwerk, the German music group performed during the last Science Fiction Festival in the Kleine Zaal of de Doelen.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, widely regarded as one of the best pianists in the world, will give a piano recital on 21 December with music by Debussy and Liszt.

Pandora's Music Box
Pandora's Music Box floods de Doelen with quirky rock music in early September, with performances by: The Violent Femmes, Peter Hamill, Force 10, Skeleton Crew, W.A.T., The Danse Society, Armory Show and Clock DVA.

water organ
De Doelen's twentieth anniversary will be celebrated in September with an open house. On stage are Lee Towers, the Deep River Quartet, Gerard Cox, Joke Bruijs and Spot The Looney, among others. A water organ is installed in the hall.

Hans Liberg

It is September 1991 when Nirvana gives a legendary performance in the Recital Hall. So legendary that security has to step in.

Grigory Solokov

Robert Holl
Robert Holl, bass-baritone and renowned interpreter of the work of the German composer Schubert, sees a heart's wish come true with the Schubertiade Weekend.

Waltraud Meier
The German mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier will make his debut on February 23 in de Doelen with a song recital. Meier has already performed in famous halls such as the Vienna State Opera, La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.

Abdelwa-hab Doulkali
Singer and composer Abdelwa-hab Doulkali is one of the great heroes of Moroccan music that emerged in the 1960s. Together with Abdelhadi Belkhayat, among others, Doukkali set the standard for this. His art of interpretation, with influences from Moroccan and Egyptian folklore, has still not lost any of its powers of conviction.

Gabriel Yacoub
The French answer to Bob Dylan is how Gabriel Yacoub is conveniently put down. The folk singer/guitarist of French-Lebanese descent will play the small hall in February, shaking off a fresh lump of misery at the time: just before leaving for the Netherlands, his house burnt down. He is left with his suitcase of clothes.

Red Sofa
Red Sofa, a new series for modern, contemporary music is launched and immediately gets off to a flying start with a retrospective of Louis Andriessen with the pieces De Tijd, De Staat and De Materie, four concerts around Olivier Messiaen, and a weekend around the composer Henk Badings, who died in 1987.

De Doelen, together with Amsterdam youth music group Oorkaan, is producing a Christmas performance for children for the first time. De Kleine Kerstman is based on the children's books by Anu Stohner and Henrike Wilson. It is performed by Joep Onderdelinden and an ensemble from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ralph van Raat
This year artist in residence with his own series 'Ready for Ralph?'.

Blaudzun and special guest Emmett Tinley put on a special show called 'The Acoustic Sessions'. During this exclusive acoustic performance, Blaudzun and his musicians performed old and new songs in an atmospheric hall and intimate setting.

The DoelenEnsemble celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary with The landscape des please, a look back at the first concert it ever gave. In part that is, because a complete repetition required too large an occupation. The Jurriaanse Zaal also played music by composers such as Berio, Poulenc and Reich and, as a tribute to co-founder Wagemans, his Kammerssymfonie.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja shares the stage with Orchester des Champs-Elysées conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.

the piano night
The atmosphere was absolutely there during the first piano night. With piano music to listen, dance and experience! It was a special evening with a varied program by, among others: Helena Basilova, Mike Bodde, Ruben Hein and Abel Marcel.

Alice Sara Ott
A special concert with Alice Sara Ott that was composed around the theme 'Nightfall', a journey to a world where day and night intersect. 'I want us tonight to relax and forget the busy 21st century' - Alice Sara Ott

Melanie Safka
The First Lady of Woodstock, better known as Melanie Safka, toured the fall 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival.

Colin Currie
Drummer Colin Currie and pianist Nicolas Hodges – both experts in contemporary music – joined forces for their interpretation of the composers Harrison Birtwistle, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Morton Feldman.

Wim Mertens
On the occasion of the release of his latest album 'That Which Is Not', Wim Mertens came to de Doelen in duo (violin, piano and voice). It was a lively evening that ended in the hall with a drink and a live set.

Jools Holland
Jools Holland shared the podium with KT Tunstall and Ruby Turner!

They play everywhere, even in the most remote Turkish cities and in 2020 in our Jur'. Their music is an eclectic fusion of traditional music styles from all Turkish regions and a good dose of rock.

chairs for de Doelen
The chairs in the Jurriaanse Zaal have been used intensively over the years, so they are in need of replacement. De Doelen launched the crowdfunding campaign 'chairs for de Doelen' and successfully raised the target amount to provide the hall with new chairs.

The firste edition of ROAM took place in the Jurriaanse Zaal and Foyer.

Michael Wilmering en Nicolas van Poucke
Surrounding the wonderful concert by Michael Wilmering and Nicolas van Poucke, we celebrate the reopening of the Jurriaanse Zaal in festive fashion.