Herman van Veen studied violin, singing and music pedagogy. Since his theatre début in 1966, he has been performing his musical theatre productions across the world in five languages. He has written some seventy books, various feature film scripts and musical theatre productions, and is the spiritual father of the duck Alfred J. Kwak, who first appeared as a character in his musical performances and later became a world-famous cartoon character. He has also founded several organisations committed to children's rights. Van Veen has been awarded numerous national and international decorations. To name but a few: he was appointed a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion; he was awarded the Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his special contribution to German-Dutch relations; and he received the Martin Buber Plaque 2005 for his commitment to his fellow human beings - this award was first presented to former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel gave him an honorary doctorate as a mark of appreciation for his international career and social engagement. He received the Goldene Kamera, a Silver Bear (Berlin International Film Festival), the Prix d'Humanite, and various prizes at the International TV and Film Festival in New York. In 2012 the Münchhausen Prize was awarded to him. In 2004 he was presented with the World Peace Flame, a symbol of peace, freedom, unity and truth, inspired by the eternal flame which burns in Mahatma Gandhi's house. The Club of Budapest gave Van Veen the Planetary Consciousness Award in 2005, an honour which has also been bestowed on Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela. His considerable musical and lyrical oeuvre has been recognised in the Netherlands with prominent awards. His paintings can be seen in European museums and galleries.
Droemer Knaur Verlag, 2016
Translated by Thomas Woitkewitsch
Original title: Herinnerde dagen (Thomas Rap, 2015)
Despite his enormous achievements in the Dutch and International theater, not to mention the music world, Herman van Veen remains keener than ever on the eve of his seventieth birthday. He was born in the last year of the Second World War into a working class family in Utrecht. It was at the conservatorium that he discovered music, theater and dance, forever changing both his life and that of many others. In Remembered Days, Van Veen takes a candid look back at his stirring life with love and with poetry. His life story overflows in all directions, never for a moment letting itself become predictable. In everything he does, a new story emerges. The memories themselves are for later.
The shining vigor that emanates from Herman van Veen will need light-years to fade.
The most international artist that the Netherlands has ever produced.