Eduard van Beinum, second conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra since 1931, took over from Mengelberg in 1945. During the post-war years he developed into a conductor much loved by both the public and the orchestra.
The changes that took place in society at that time also made their mark on the profession of conductor. From the traditional position of 'maestro’, the position of principal conductor evolved into one of ‘musician among musicians’. And this certainly suited van Beinum’s character. Under his leadership, the orchestra developed an affinity with the French repertoire and Bruckner gained a permanent position on the stage in Amsterdam.
Van Beinum died unexpectedly during a rehearsal in April 1959. He was succeeded by the young Bernard Haitink.