I went to most of the National Orchestra (as the NZSO was called then) concerts in the period 1954–1960. I don’t remember many of the details of those concerts, but I do remember a regular occurrence whilst waiting for the concerts to start. The commanding figure of the double bass player Van Gellekom would enter stage left, cross to the other side and place his little green cushion on his stool, and depart. He always got a huge round of enthusiastic applause from us all!

Can anyone identify J. Van Gellekom from among the double bass players in this 1950s photo of the National Orchestra?

Merrilyn Lander

Image: The orchestra rehearsing with conductor John Hopkins, NZBC Symphony Orchestra, Owen Jensen, 1966