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Eduard van Beinum (1900 - 1959)

Eduard van Beinum’s family was very musical, his father being a double-bass player in the Arnhem Orchestra. Eduard learnt to play the piano, violin and viola, and by the age of sixteen he was performing in the viola section of his father’s orchestra. His elder brother was himself a violinist and choirmaster, and he taught Eduard the rudiments of music. Eduard went on to study at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where a performance that he gave as a pianist of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 drew a favourable response from the academic staff. His principal interest however was conducting, and he launched into this by directing amateur choirs and orchestras, notably at Schiedam and Zutphen. In 1927 he was appointed as conductor of the Haarlem Symphony Orchestra. Here he learnt the backbone of the orchestral repertoire and conducted many Dutch contemporary works. He left Haarlem for Amsterdam in 1931 when he was appointed the second conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, with which he had already appeared as a pianist and guest conductor.




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