UEA has received a substantial legacy bequest of €330,000 from Dutch pianist Dick van der Ven.Four people unveiling plaque

The executor of the bequest, Baron Otto Bentinck, visited UEA on 20 October to unveil a plaque for the newly-named Dick van der Ven Practice Rooms, alongside his wife, Christine, His Excellency the Dutch Ambassador, Mr Simon Smits, and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof David Richardson.

Dick van der Ven began his piano studies when he was six years old. At the age of 12 he entered The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and when he graduated in 1950 he received the designation “best student of 1950”.

For several years Dick van der Ven gave concerts and recitals. Gradually he devoted himself more to teaching and composing. He was employed as a teacher by the Municipal School of Music in The Hague and the School of Music Hengelo in the Netherlands until his retirement in 1997.

Dick van der Ven had been friends with a Norfolk family through musical connections and had met composer Benjamin Britten, through whom he got to know UEA in the 1960s, although the legacy arrangement was unknown to the University.

Director of Music Stuart Dunlop said: ”It was a very great surprise to hear about the will, and even better to get to know Baron Otto and his wife, Christine, as we have worked with colleagues from the Development Office over many months to secure this legacy and agree terms for its use to improve Music at UEA.”

The legacy fund is being used to improve student experience by replacing all the pianos in the Music Centre practice rooms and to stage a concert in memory of Dick van der Ven during 2018. The remainder of the gift will be invested to support future musical performances and awards.

In order to receive the legacy from the estate without tax penalties in Holland, UEA was registered as a charitable body in the Netherlands during the course of 2017 and now has the official “ANBI status” of a charity in the Netherlands.

If you wish to leave a legacy to UEA or would like more information, please visit our Leaving a Legacy webpage or contact Joyce Griffin, Development and Legacy Manager at j.griffin@uea.ac.uk or on +44 (0)1603 592114.