At first sight, music and the Beurs van Berlage do not seem like a “match made in heaven". Although many things have been traded in the Beurs since the opening in 1903, chances are small that musical instruments also changed hands in the 116-year-old building.
Yet, from the moment that its doors opened to the public in 1903, the Beurs van Berlage has had a musical tradition. This one dates back from the year 1622. At that time, the merchant exchange of Hendrick de Keyser was the exchange of the city of Amsterdam. This location was extremely important for the Dutch economy, and the Spaniards chose this location to carry out a bomb attack with as much impact as possible.
The bomb attack was, fortunately, prevented by an Amsterdam orphan boy noticing the ship carrying the gunpowder in time and sounding the alarm. He was of course rewarded for this heroic act. The boy was allowed to choose the reward himself. What he chose would remain a tradition for a long time: an annual drum day for Amsterdam children in the Amsterdam merchant exchange.
Just over 80 years after the opening of the Beurs van Berlage, the building became the scene of musical concerts once again. This time for a longer period, namely for 28 years. In 1985 the Nederlands Philarmonisch Orkest moved into the Beurs van Berlage.
In the Graanbeurszaal an impressive glass music hall was constructed, and the Effectenbeurszaal was transformed into a remarkable concert hall. To achieve this, the acoustics in the room were improved, among other things.
The Nederlands Philarmonisch Orkest is currently rehearsing in Amsterdam-Oost. The glass music hall has been dismantled and has found a new home in the LocHal in Tilburg. In recent years, the Beurs van Berlage has developed into an event location with international allure.
However, on May 4th, 2019, another concert will be performed in the Beurs van Berlage. After the National Commemoration of the dead on Dam Square, the Nederlands Concertkoor performs Mozart’s Requiem in the Graanbeurszaal. It will be a special commemorative concert that adds a new page to the musical history of the Beurs van Berlage.