In the early 50s a plan was conceived of creating a centre for musicians in addition to the centres for writers and the fine arts already existing. A ‘music centre for the future’, an international meeting place where musicians from all over the world could get to know each other through study gatherings. The initiative in the early days was taken by the harpist Phia Berghout and the conductor Eduard van Beinum.

In 1960 the plans began to materialize. An administration was formed and on 16 November that year the foundation was a fact. The name it would bear was obvious: Eduard van Beinum had died the year before.