Overview stories

01- The grave findings of my ancestor Kan Keng Tiong and the phenomenon of Mandarins in Dutch East Indies

02- The mass grave

03- Djakarta, Jalan Teuku Umar 15, the last house of H.H. Kan

04- The number on the yellow Universitas Indonesia jacket

05- The Amateur Orchestra of Djakarta

06- General Destruction Corps

07- The Chinese Tea Lords

08- The ancestoral altars of the Kan-Han-Tan clan

09- The coffin of great grandmother Thung Leng Nio as an example of a traditional Chinese coffin

10- Tan Goan Piauw and Thung Leng Nio

11- Villa Mei Ling is an historic building for Dutch India

12- Tan Tjoen Lee and Han Tek Nio-

13- Kan Keng Tjong overview

14- Desiree Tan (Hoei Nio)

15- Bommeltje

16- H.L.L.Kan and the opium and salt regie in Dutch India

17- Music in my family

18- Gedong Dalam a Paladio villa in Dutch East Indies

19- Ferry Tan's death and the failed cover-up of the s.s. Insulinde

20-The disappeared Compagnie Seepers of the City Guard of Batavia

21- Han Oen Lee en Kan Oe Nio

22- Ganti Nama,the compulsory name change imposed on Chinese Indonesian citizens and other racial laws in Indonesia




05 The Djakarta Amateur Orchestra



This story demonstrates how quickly a triumph can be turned into a nightmare just due to a coup d’état.


The Djakarta Amateur Orchestra (DAO)

The photo shows the Djakarta Amateur Orchestra on 15 October 1964. My father and I, seated in the second row in the middle, play the cello in the orchestra. Standing in front from left to the right are the solo violinist Lie Eng Liong (Adidharma), Irawati Soediarso a pianist and Oey Tjong Lee (Rudy Laban) a pianist. With thanks to Irmajanti Muliadi a cousin of Lie Eng Liong for the correct names. Irawati Soediarso played together with Oey Tjong Lee the concert for 2 piano’s of W.A. Mozart. The conductor was Lie Eng Liong. Lie Eng Liong played the violin in the violin concert of Max Bruch, and Oey Tjiong Lee was then the conductor.
Lie Eng Liong was in general the conductor of the orchestra since 1960. 

amateurorkest Djakarta

-click on photo above to enlarge,opens in a new page-

    Sy en vader

At the time of the photo, the orchestra was at the height of its success. What started as a small chamber orchestra, which fitted into the front part of our house at Djalan Teuku Umar
13 for the rehearsals, had developed into a full symphony orchestra and a choir
during the fifteen years of its existence. The largest increase of members took place
in the final five years and was mainly due to the financial and organizational support
of BAPERKI (Badan Permusjawaratan Kewarganegaraan Indonesia), a mass
organization striving to integrate various ethnic groups into the Indonesian society.
It had no political intention favoring left or right. During those final years however the
People’s Republic of China tried to get a hold on the orchestra, its members were
frequently invited to events at the embassy.
By 15 October 1964, the orchestra had grown to a proportion that exceeded the
capacity of its regular concert venue, the “Gedung Kesenian” in Jakarta (also known
as “Schouwburg Weltevreden”), and the concert had to be performed in the “Gelora
Bung Karno Stadion”, the main stadium of the Senayan sports complex.
The orchestra’s members were predominantly Chinese Indonesian musicians. The choir
members were all Chinese, either members of the BAPERKI University (Universitas
Res Publica) or members of the Chinese Embassy. The concert was a great success
and a broadcast on national TV resulted in a situation in which orchestra members were recognized and praised in public.
Contrasting events to this success took place only one year later. Following the
coup d’état of 30 September 1965, BAPERKI was banned, the BAPERKI University
was burnt down, and members of BAPERKI were arrested without due process, on
allegations of providing aid to the communist party, which was alleged of being the brain behind the coup. Neither these allegations, nor any connections between BAPERKI and the communist party, had ever been proven.
Some members of the orchestra were put in jail. Others fled to China or tried to
escape to the Netherlands. For those who fled to China, an ordeal that was even
worse awaited them, as they arrived there at the dawn of the Cultural Revolution.
Such happened to dr. Sie Boen Liep, a specialist in Internal Medicine. As a violinist,
he had been a member of the orchestra from the very beginning and was the great
organizer of the Djakarta Amateur Orchestra. The last information we had of him
from China was that he was forbidden to play the violin and that his violin had been
smashed to pieces.


This story was published on Facebook of the CIHC and some of the comments came from Irmajanti Muliada:

Irmajanti Muliadi: I spotted Lie Eng Liong and Oey Tjong Lee; correct ?
October 16, 2012 at 11:22pm

Irmajanti Muliadi: Lie Eng Liong was the conductor, if memories serve.
May I save this picture to show to him ? He would be very happy to see this, thanks.
October 16, 2012 at 11:25pm2

Irmajanti Muliadi: front row,standing, right: Oey Tjong Lee or later known as Rudy Laban, was the pianist..cmiiw..October 16, 2012 at 11:29pm1

Irmajanti Muliadi: Lie Eng Liong, later known as Adidharma, is my father's cousin; son of Lie Soen Liang. He's over 80 now, but still teaches violin.October 16, 2012 at 11:51pm

Irmajanti Muliadi: Just talked to my uncle; sadly he doesn't remember much of the DAO; but promised me to look into his files, for he kept some clippings pertaining to the orchestra. He said that the lady in the middle was Irawati Soediarso, also a pianist.October 17, 2012 at 7:06pm

Lie Eng Liong 2012 , this picture was sent to me by Irmajanti Muliadi, taken at the wedding party of his granddaughter.

beginjaren amateur orkest Djakarta  

In the archives we found a picture of the beginning of the orchestra, when the orchestra was still so small that practicing took place on the front porch of my grandmother's house, the widow of Tan Tjoen Lee, address Djalan Teuku Umar 13.

In this picture at the front row in the middle: the conductor Tordasi, left of him dr. Sie Boen Liep, the organizer from the beginning of the orchestra. On the left in this picture is my father Louis Kan.

A special performance was held because of the 15th birthday of “Tjandra Naja” orphanage, the former “Sin Ming Hui" on January 31 1962:

toegangskaart concert amateur orkest Djakarta
List of players in 1962:

lijst met muzikanten in het amateur orkest Djakarta
programmaboekje amateur orkest Djakarta
tekst in programma boekje  

This leaflet is about the history of the orchestra.
The founder of the orchestra is dr. Sie Boen Liep.
Conductrors: A. Grosz, Konomenko, H. Tordasi, Lim Kek Tjiang and Lie Eng Liong.
The orchestra started out with approx. 25 players, in 1962 the orchestra had 54 players. Amongst them people with different backgrounds; such as students, medical doctors, traders.

Special family tickets for above mentioned performance:
tegangskaartje amateurconcert Djakarta

This story was published in a short version on the Facebookpage of the Chinese Indonesian Heritiage Centre,

October 14,2012

Last Updated: April 2019


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