Eddie Van Halen left a “transformative” seven-figure donation to US music education foundation

Eddie Van Halen working with the Mr. Hollan's Opus Foundation
(Image credit: Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation)

Late electric guitar great Eddie Van Halen left a “substantial” donation to music education support organization Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation in his will.

The foundation will be the recipient of a “transformative” seven-figure sum at the behest of Van Halen, whose donation will help the nonprofit in its mission to support music education in at-risk public schools in the US.

Van Halen’s donation was revealed to have been included in the guitar legend’s will yesterday (April 20). Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation responded to the bequest by posting a statement to its website thanking Van Halen for the undisclosed sum.

According to the foundation, prior to his passing, Van Halen had spent more than 10 years working closely with the organization to support its initiatives, and to help students develop and pursue their love of music.

Thanks to Van Halen’s offering – which has been described as “a meaningful percentage of his estate” – Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation has announced it will now have the resources to fill requests from a greater number of schools, add employees to its staff and improve its technological offerings.

MHOF President and CEO Felice Mancini commented, “Eddie’s support and friendship over the years meant the world to us and to his fans. His passion for music and our work created a strong bond, which is evident in his extraordinary bequest. 

“To know how much our foundation meant to Eddie is intensely humbling and gratifying to all of us,” they continued, “and we know that Eddie’s family is confident that his powerful legacy and values live on through our efforts.”

It’s also been announced that Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen will continue his father’s partnership with the foundation, having already donated the proceeds of his track Distance – an emotional tribute penned for Eddie – to the organization.

“Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and the work they do for music education was always something that was important to my father,” said Wolfgang. “I am incredibly proud to help facilitate this donation as he wished. 

“Mr. Holland’s Opus are champions for our musicians of the future and it is my privilege to continue supporting that mission and carrying on my pop’s legacy.”

The foundation was originally founded in 1996 by composer Michael Kamen, and works to donate musical instruments to public schools across the country in a bid to ensure children have access to a high-quality music education.

For more information, visit Mr Holland’s Opus Foundation.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.