In 1986, a cooperation agreement was made with the Music
Theatre Foundation in Amsterdam and its two permanent companies: the National Ballet and the Netherlands Opera.
Under the terms of this agreement, a commission is awarded once every three years to create a new ballet or a new opera, on condition in each case that the premiere takes place in the Music Theatre.
An international advisory committee comprising Pina Bausch, Rudolf Nureyev, Gerard Violette, Toer van Schayk and Marcel Armand van Nieuwpoort commissioned the first ballet from Maguy Marin in the summer of 1986. This Sun Queen of French dance devised a ballet ‘Groosland’ for the 20 smallest dancers in the National Ballet to the music of JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos 2 and 3. The world premiere in February 1989 drew an enthusiastic response in the Dutch press on account of the particular approach by Marin’s full-time designer, Montserrat Casanova.
The first opera was commissioned in 1987 from the famous Hungarian composer Gy6rgy Kurtag, with whose work the Netherlands made acquaintance during the Holland Festival of that year. The commission also resulted from recommendations by an international committee, now comprising Luciano Berio, Riccardo Chailly, John Drummond, Maurizia Kagel and ReLnbert de Leeuw. Since the premiere of Kurtagls opera will not take place until the mid-90s, it was decided on grounds of continuity to commission an opera from the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke,, as well, for the autumn of 1989.
In addition to the arrangements with the Music Theatre, the Eduard van Beinum Foundation offers financial support for a number of special events. The Foundation, as organizers, stood at the cradle of the now internationally recognized Orlando Festival in Rolduc These ties were never quite cut, as both in 1988 and 1989 the Van Beinum Foundation has subsidized some master classes at the festival, as it will do in 1990.
The Foundation has also made longer-term arrangements with the Netherlands Broadcasting Production Company, with a view to giving the long-established, international conductors’ courses an additional boost by granting bursaries. At the end of the 1988 course, the first bursary was awarded to the Chinese conductor En Shao. which enabled him to work as an assistant with various orchestras in the Netherlands, Japan and Australia. The Eduard van Beinum Foundation will also contribute its mite to the courses in 1990 and 1992.
The Eduard van Beinum Foundation has a 5-member Board and a manager concerned with day to day business.