Jean Baptiste van den Eeden was a Flemish composer; born at Ghent, where he obtained his first musical instruction, at fifteen years of age winning the prize for harmony and piano.
In 1864 he went to Brussels and entered the Conservatory, studying counterpoint and fugue under Fetis. The next year he won the second prize with his cantata, The Wind, which, when given in 1866 under his direction at the Royal Academy of Belgium, was a great success. In 1869 he won the Grand Prize of Rome with the cantata, The Last Night of Faust. He then spent some time traveling in Germany, Austria, Italy and France, settled for a while at Assisi, and in 1878 went to Mons to succeed Huberti as director of the Conservatory of Music, which position he still holds. In 1879 he conducted a choir of 750 people at the National Festival of Music of Belgium and at the same time his beautiful oratorio, Jacqueline de Bariere, was given.
Many of his works have been given in Germany, particularly in Berlin, by the Bilse Orchestra. He is an officer of the order of Leopold, a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium, a member of the jury of the Grand Prize of Rome and a member of the Council for the Perfection of Musical Art in Belgium. Besides the compositions named above he has written an opera, Numance; the oratorios, Brutus, Jacqueline de Baviere Jacob van Arteyelde, and Le Jugement Dernier; the trilogy, Judith; two cantatas, Het Wond, and De Windj a symphonic poem, La lutte au xvie siecle; a Marche des esclaves; and many songs and part-songs.