Bé Holdtman passes

This remembrance of a prominent figure in the Dutch bluegrass community is a contribution from Pieter Groenveld.

Bé Holdtman: 1943 – 2012

I’m very sorry to report that one of the most productive bluegrass concert organizers in Holland, Bé Holdtman passed away on December 8, after a battle with cancer.

Bé was a government worker for  the counsel of Emmen, Netherlands. His department was in control of road and water works. He retired from this job only a few years ago.

In the music scene, Holdtman was mostly known his many always-sold-out old-time country and bluegrass shows at the Muzeval theater in Emmen, from 1985 to 1998. Among bands that performed there were the Good Ol’ Persons, White Mountain Bluegrass, High Country, Traver Hollow, Laurie Lewis and Grant Street, Lynn Morris Band, Bill Clifton & Pick of the Crop, Robin and Linda Williams and their Fine Band, Bob Paisley & Southern Grass, Kate McKenzie Band, Liz Meyer & Midnight Flyer, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, Amy Galatin & Stillwaters, Charlie  Louvin & Charles Whitstein, and many others.

Bé worked closely together with Rienk Janssen who was largely responsible for the many USA bands touring Europe during that time. I was the lucky sound guy during all these shows, and some classic ‘Live in Holland’ albums were recorded here at the Muzeval theater, as Bob Pailey and The Southern Grass,  Robin and Linda Williams & Their Fine Group, and Charlie Louvin & Charles Witstein’s  “A Louvin Brothers Celebrations.”  Bé’s Dutch (local) buddies The Alabama Country Boys were always part of the  concerts.

Bé will be greatly missed by his family, and many friends in the USA and Europe. Thank you Bé, you sure were special

  • Kevin L.

    Bé Holdtman was an amazing human being.

    He was not only one of, if not THE, most enthusiastic music fans I have ever known — but so enhtusiastic about family, friends and life in general. His concerts & festivals at De Muzeval in Emmen, Netherlands were an extremely influential factor in promoting the success of bluegrass music during the formative years of our American music genre in Europe.

    Bé Holdtman made a difference in many ways while he was here. The likes of a man such as Bé is sorely missing in today’s world. Bé Holdtman will be greatly missed by those in the music community who were fortunate enough to have made his friendship.