Louis Andriessen

Louis Andriessen

born on 6/6/1939 in Utrecht, Netherlands

died on 1/7/2021 in Weesp, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Louis Andriessen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Louis Andriessen (born 6 June 1939) is a Dutch composer and pianist based in Amsterdam. He was a composition teacher at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He was recipient of the Gaudeamus International Composers Award in 1959.

Life and career

Andriessen was born in Utrecht into a musical family, the son of the composer Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981), brother of composers Jurriaan Andriessen (1925-1996) and Caecilia Andriessen (1931-), and nephew of Willem Andriessen (1887-1964).

Andriessen originally studied with his father and Kees van Baaren at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, before embarking upon two years of study with Italian composer Luciano Berio in Milan and Berlin. He later joined the faculty of the Royal Conservatory where his notable students included Michel van der Aa, Richard Ayres, Richard Baker, Michael Fiday, Jeff Hamburg, Michael Zev Gordon, Rozalie Hirs, Ivana Ki, Yannis Kyriakides, Juan Sebastian Lach, Steve Martland, Nathan Michel, Koji Nakano, Damien Ricketson, Patrick Saint-Denis, Víctor Varela, Jasna Velikovi, and Sinta Wullur.

In 1969 Andriessen co-founded STEIM in Amsterdam. He also helped found the instrumental groups Orkest de Volharding and Hoketus, both of which performed compositions of the same names. He later became closely involved in the ongoing Schonberg and Asko ensembles and inspired the formation of the British ensemble Icebreaker.

Andriessen, a widower, was married to guitarist Jeanette Yanikian (1935-2008). They were a couple for over 40 years and were married in 1996.[1]

Style and notable works

Andriessen's early works show experimentation with various contemporary trends: post war serialism (Series, 1958), pastiche (Anachronie I, 196667), and tape (Il Duce, 1973). His reaction to what he perceived as the conservatism of much of the Dutch contemporary music scene quickly moved him to form a radically alternative musical aesthetic of his own. Since the early 1970s he has refused to write for conventional symphony orchestras and has instead opted to write for his own idiosyncratic instrumental combinations, which often retain some traditional orchestral instruments alongside electric guitars, electric basses, and congas.

Andriessen's mature music combines the influences of jazz, American minimalism, Igor Stravinsky and Claude Vivier.[2] His harmonic writing eschews the consonant modality of much minimalism, preferring post war European dissonance, often crystallised into large blocks of sound. Large scale pieces such as De Staat ['Republic'] (197276), for example, are influenced by the energy of the big band music of Count Basie and Stan Kenton and the repetitive procedures of Steve Reich, both combined with bright, clashing dissonances. Andriessen's music is thus anti-Germanic and anti-Romantic, and marks a departure from post war European serialism and its offshoots. He has also played a role in providing alternatives to traditional performance practice techniques, often specifying forceful, rhythmic articulations, and amplified, non-vibrato, singing.

Other notable works include Workers Union (1975), a melodically indeterminate piece "for any loud sounding group of instruments"; Mausoleum (1979) for 2 baritones and large ensemble; De Tijd ['Time'] (197981) for female singers and ensemble; De Snelheid ['Velocity'] (1982-3), for 3 amplified ensembles; De Materie ['Matter'] (198488), a large four-part work for voices and ensemble; collaborations with filmmaker and librettist Peter Greenaway on the film M is for Man, Music, Mozart and the operas Rosa: A Horse Drama (1994) and Writing to Vermeer (1998); and the recent La Passione (200002) for female voice, violin and ensemble.

Andriessen's music is published by Donemus in the Netherlands and Boosey & Hawkes in the United Kingdom and the United States. His recordings appear on the Nonesuch Records label.


  • The 2011 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for the multimedia opera La Commedia (2004-2008).[3]



  • Rondo Barbaro (1954) for piano[5]
  • Sonata (1956) for flute and piano (dedicated to Lucas van Regteren Altena)[6]
  • Elegy (1957) for cello and piano[7]
  • Elegy (1957) for double bass and piano (arrangement by Quirijn van Regteren Altena)[7]
  • Nuit d'été (1957) for piano 4 hands
  • Quartet in two movements (1957) for string quartet[6]
  • Séries (1958) for 2 pianos
  • Nocturnen (1959) (text by the composer) for 2 sopranos, orchestra (dedicated to Jeanette Yanikian)
  • Percosse (1959) for flute, trumpet, bassoon and percussion[6]
  • Prospettive e Retrospettive (1959) for piano
  • Trois Pièces (1961) for piano left hand
  • Aanloop en sprongen (1961) (Rincorsa e salti) for flute, oboe and clarinet in Bb[6]
  • Ittrospezione I (1961) for piano 4 hands
  • Joli commentaire (1961) for piano 4 hands
  • Paintings (1961) for one flutist (or recorder player) and one pianist[6]
  • Étude pour les timbres (1962) for piano
  • Triplum (1962) for guitar (dedicated to Jeanette Yanikian)
  • Canzone 3 (Utinam) (1962) for voice and piano[6]
  • Constructions for a Ballet (1962, revision 2009) for orchestra, including Ondine, timbres voor orkest[8]
  • Plain-chant (1963) for flute and harp (dedicated to Eugenie van des Grinten and Veronica Reyns)[6]
  • Ittrospezione II (1963) for large orchestra
  • Sweet (1964) for alto (treble) recorder (dedicated to Frans Brüggen)
  • Registers (1963) for piano
  • A flower song II (1964) for oboe solo[6]
  • A flower song III (1964) for violoncello solo[6]
  • Ittrospezione III (concept I) (1964) for 2 pianos and 3 instrumental groups[6]
  • Double (1965) for clarinet and piano (dedicated to George Pieterson and Tan Crone)[6]
  • Ittrospezione III (Concept II) Fragment (1965) tenor saxophone ad libitum, 2 pianos (section of Ittrospezione III [Concept II]; may be performed separately)
  • Beatles Songs (1966) (satirical arrangements of four Beatles songs) for female voice and piano
  • Souvenirs d'enfance (1954-1966) for piano. Including amongst others: Nocturne, Ricercare, Allegro Marcato, As you like it, Blokken, Strawinsky, Rondo opus 1, Étude pour les timbres, dotted quarter note = 70
  • Rage, rage against the dying of the light (1966) for 4 trombones[5]
  • Anachronie I (196667) for large orchestra
  • The Garden of Ryoan-gi (1967) for 3 electronic organs
  • Worum es ging und worum es geht (1967) (with Misha Mengelberg) for orchestra[6]
  • Contra tempus (1967-1968) for large ensemble[6]
  • Choralvorspiele (1969) for barrel organ
  • Anachronie II (1969) for oboe, small orchestra (4 horns, harp, piano, strings)
  • Hoe het is (1969) for 52 strings and live electronics
  • Sonate op.2 nr.1 (1969) for piano with interruptions from string quartet (based on Piano Sonata No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven)[8]
  • Reconstructie (1969) (with Reinbert de Leeuw, Misha Mengelberg, Peter Schat, Jan van Vlijmen, libretto by Hugo Claus, Harry Mulisch) Morality opera for soloists, 3 mixed choruses (4 voices each), orchestra (11 winds, 7 brass, 2 guitars, 11 keyboards, 10 strings), live electronics
  • De negen symfonieën van Beethoven (1970) for ice cream bell, orchestra
  • Spektakel (1970) for improvisational ensemble (saxophone [+ bass clarinet], viola, bass guitar, electronic organ [+ piano], percussion [or other instruments]), small orchestra (12 winds, 4 horns, 6 percussion)
  • Vergeet mij niet (1970) (Forget me not) for oboe[6]
  • La voile du bonheur (1966-1971) for violin and piano
  • een, twee (1971) for organ, 10 instrumentalists and piano[8]
  • In Memoriam (1971) for tape
  • Volkslied (1971) for an unlimited amount and kinds of instruments (in all octaves) (based on the Dutch national anthem Wilhelmus van Nassouwe and on The Internationale)[6]
  • De Volharding (1972) (Perseverance) for piano and wind instruments (written for Orkest de Volharding)[6]
  • Dat gebeurt in Vietnam (1972) (That's going on in Vietnam) for wind ensemble[6]
  • Arrangement of Solidaritätslied by Hanns Eisler (1972) for wind ensemble
  • Arrangement of Streikslied by Hanns Eisler (1972) for wind ensemble
  • Arrangement of In C by Terry Riley (1972) for wind ensemble
  • Arrangement of Bereits sprach der Welt by Hanns Eisler (1972) for wind ensemble
  • Arrangement of Tango by Igor Stravinsky (1972) for wind ensemble
  • Arrangement of La création du monde by Darius Milhaud (1972) for wind ensemble
  • Thanh Hoa (1972) (text by Nguyen Thai Mao) for voice and piano[6]
  • Canzone 3.Utinam (1972) (text from the Book of Job) for soprano, piano, 1962; Thanh Hoa (text by Nguyen Thay Mao), voice, piano
  • On Jimmy Yancey (1973) for 9 winds, piano and double bass (written for Orkest de Volharding)[6]
  • Voor Sater (1973) for wind ensemble
  • Amsterdam Vrij (1973) for wind ensemble
  • Il Duce (1973) for tape
  • The family (1973) for ensemble (film music)[6]
  • Melodie (1972-1974) for alto recorder (or other flute) and piano[6]
  • Arrangement of Ipanema and Gavea from Saudades do Brasil by Darius Milhaud (1974) for wind ensemble
  • Il Principe (1974) (text by Niccolò Machiavelli) for 2 mixed choruses, 8 winds, 3 horns, tuba, bass guitar, piano
  • Wals (1974) for piano
  • Symfonieën der Nederlanden (1974) for 2 or more symphonic bands (minimum 32 players)
  • Nederland, let op uw schoonheyt (1975) for symphonic band
  • Workers Union (1975) for any loud-sounding group of instruments
  • De Staat (197276) (text by Plato) for 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 4 oboes (3rd, 4th + English horn), 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass trombone, 2 harps, 2 electric guitars, 4 violas, bass guitar, 2 pianos (also transcribed for two pianos in 1992 by Cees van Zeeland and Gerard Bouwhuis)
  • Mattheus passie (1976) (text by Louis Ferron) Music theatre work for 8 mixed voices, 2 oboes (both + English horn), Hammond organ, string quartet, double bass
  • Hoketus (197576) for 2 panpipes, 2 alto saxophones ad libitum, 2 bass guitars, 2 pianos, 2 electric pianos, 2 congas
  • Orpheus (1977) (text by Lodewijk de Boer) Music theatre work for 8 mixed voices, lyricon, electric guitar, bass guitar, synthesizer, percussion
  • Symphonie voor losse snaren (1978) for 12 strings
  • Laat toch vrij die straat (1978) (text by Jaap van der Merwe) for voice and piano
  • Hymne to the Memory of Darius Milhaud (1978) (version of chamber work)
  • Felicitatie (1979) for 3 trumpets
  • Toespraak (1979) for speaker who also plays trombone[6]
  • Mausoleum (1979 rev. 1981) (texts by Mikhail Bakunin, Arthur Arnould) for 2 high baritones, orchestra (12 brass, 2 harps, cimbalom, 2 pianos, 2 percussion, minimum 10 strings, bass guitar)
  • Music for the film The Alien (1980) (Rudolf van den Berg)
  • George Sand (1980) (text by Mia Meyer) Music theatre work for 8 mixed voices, 4 pianos
  • Un beau baiser (1980) for mixed chorus
  • Messe des pauvres by Erik Satie, arrangement by Louis Andriessen for choir, 15 solo strings, accordion, contrabass clarinet and harp (1980)[6]
  • Ende (1981) for 2 alto recorders (1 player) (dedicated to Frans Brüggen)
  • Anfang (1981) for sopranino recorder and piano
  • De Tijd (197981) (text by St. Augustine of Hippo) for female chorus, percussion ensemble, orchestra (6 flutes, 2 alto flutes, 3 clarinets, contrabass clarinet, 6 trumpets, 2 harps, 2 pianos, Hammond organ, strings, 2 bass guitars)
  • Commentaar (1981) (text by Wilhelm Schön) for voice and piano
  • La voce (1981) (to a text by Cesare Pavese) for cello and voice
  • Disco (1982) for violin and piano
  • Overture to Orpheus (1982) for harpsichord
  • De Snelheid (1982-83 rev. 1984) for 3 amplified ensembles
  • Y después (1983) (text by Federico García Lorca) for voice and piano
  • Menuet voor Marianne (1983) for piano
  • Trepidus (1983) for piano
  • Doctor Nero (1984) Music theatre work
  • Berceuse voor Annie van Os (1985) for piano
  • De Lijn (1986) for 3 flutes
  • Dubbelspoor (1986 rev. 1994) Ballet music for piano, harpsichord, celesta, glockenspiel
  • De Materie (198488) (texts from the Plakkaat van Verlatinge, Nicolaes Witsen, David Gorlaeus, Hadewijch, M.H.J. Schoenmaekers, Madame van Domselaer-Middelkoop, Willem Kloos, Marie Curie, Françoise Giroud). Music theatre work for soprano, tenor, 2 female speakers, 8 amplified mixed voices, amplified orchestra (15 winds, 13 brass, harp, 2 electric guitars, 2 pianos [one + electric piano], off-stage upright piano, celesta, 2 synthesizers, 6 percussion, minimum 9 strings, bass guitar. Two of its four sections may be performed separately as concert works: [2] Hadewijch, [3] De Stijl
  • De Toren (1988, rev. 2000) for carillon
  • Nietzsche redet (1989) (text by Friedrich Nietzsche) for speaker, alto flute, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, 2 celli, double bass, 2 pianos
  • Flora Tristan (1990) for mixed choir a cappella (text by Fleur Bourgonje)[6]
  • Facing Death (1990) for amplified string quartet
  • Facing Death (1990) for saxophone quartet (arrangement by Aurelia Saxophone Quartet)[7]
  • Dances (1991) (text by Joan Grant, choreography by Bianca van Dillen) For soprano, small orchestra (amplified harp, amplified piano, percussion, strings). May be performed as a concert work.
  • M is for Man, Music, Mozart (1991) (texts by the composer, Jeroen van der Linden, Peter Greenaway) for female jazz voice, flute (+ piccolo), soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, horn, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, double bass, piano (TV score; may be performed as a concert work with one additional song)
  • Lacrimosa (1991) for 2 bassoons
  • Lacrimosa (1991) for 2 flutes (arrangement by Manuel Zurria)
  • Hout (1991) for tenor saxophone, electric guitar, piano and marimba (+ woodblocks)
  • Romance voor Caecilia (1991) for piano
  • Nadir en Zenit (1992) improvisations on poems by Sybren Polet for voice and piano (+ synthesizer)
  • ...not being sundered (1992) (text by Rainer Maria Rilke) for soprano, flute, cello
  • Song Lines (1992) for 3-6 saxophones
  • Deuxième chorale (1992) for music box
  • The Memory of Roses (1992) for piano (+ toy piano)
  • Chorale (1992) for piano
  • M is Muziek, Monoloog en Moord (1993) (text by Lodewijk de Boer) Music theatre work
  • Lied (1993) for piano
  • Rosa - A Horse Drama: The Death of a Composer (199394) (libretto by Peter Greenaway) Opera for 2 sopranos, tenor, 2 baritones, female speaker, 8 mixed voices, orchestra.
  • Een lied van de zee (1994) (text by Hélène Swarth) for female voice
  • Zilver (1994) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, vibraphone and marimba
  • Base (1994) for piano left hand
  • Odysseus' Women (1995) (text by Homer, choreography by Beppie Blankert) for 2 sopranos, 2 altos, sampler
  • De komst van Willibrord (1995) for carillon
  • To Pauline O (1995) for oboe
  • Machmes Wos (1996) for voice, piano
  • Trilogie van de Laatste Dag (199697) (each of its three sections may be performed separately: (i) The Last Day (texts by Lucebert, folksong A Woman and Her Lass) for boy soprano, 4 male voices, orchestra; (ii) TAO (texts by Laozi, Kotaro Takamura) for 4 female voices, piano [+ voice, koto], small orchestra [5 winds, 2 horns, harp, piano (+ celesta), 2 percussion, minimum 14 strings]; (iii) Dancing on the Bones (text by the composer) for children's chorus, orchestra, 1997)
  • De herauten (1997) for 3 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani
  • Not an Anfang (1997) for piano
  • De eerste minnaar (1998) (text by Ton Tellegen) for boy soprano, organ, 1998 (section of music theatre work Oldenbarneveldt; may be performed as a concert work)
  • Tuin van Zink (1998) for viola and live electronics
  • Writing to Vermeer (199799) (libretto by Peter Greenaway) Opera for 2 children's voices, 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, female chorus, orchestra (7 winds, 2 horns, 2 trumpets [2nd + bass trumpet], 2 harps, 2 electric guitars, cimbalom, 2 pianos, on-stage harpsichord, 2 percussion, minimum 22 strings), CD (music by Michel van der Aa)
  • Woodpecker (1999) for percussion
  • Image de Moreau (1999) for piano
  • Dirck Sweelinck Missed the Prince (1999) for harpsichord
  • Passeggiata in tram in America e ritorno (1999) (text by Dino Campana) for female Italian voice, violin and piano
  • What Shall I Buy You, Son? (2000) for voice, piano
  • Boodschappenlijstje van een gifmengster (2000) (text by the composer) for vocalist (also writes), voice (may be performed as Shopping List of a Poisoner [translated by Nicoline Gatehouse]
  • Inanna's Descent (2000) for mezzo-soprano, piccolo, oboe, violin, piano, 2 percussion ensembles (4-12 total players)
  • The New Math(s) (2000) (text by Hal Hartley) for soprano, transverse flute, violin, marimba, CD (music by Michel van der Aa), 2000 (film score; may be performed as a concert work)
  • Feli-citazione (2000) for piano
  • Passeggiata in tram in America e ritorno (2001) (text by Dino Campana) for female Italian voice, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, electric guitar, electric violin, double bass, piano, percussion, 1998 (also version for voice, flute, horn, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, amplified violin, double bass, piano
  • De vleugels van de herinnering (2001) (text by Larissa Tiginachvili [Dutch translation]) for voice, piano
  • Fanfare om te beginnen (2001) for 6 groups of horns
  • La Passione (200002) (text by Dino Campana) for female jazz voice, violin, small orchestra (7 winds, 7 brass, electric guitar, cimbalom, 2 pianos, synthesizer, 2 percussion, 3 violins, bass guitar)
  • Very Sharp Trumpet Sonata (2002) for trumpet
  • Tuin van Eros (Garden of Eros) (2002) for string quartet
  • Klokken voor Haarlem (Bells for Haarlem) (2002) for piano, celesta, synthesizer, vibraphone (+ glockenspiel)
  • Pupazzetti by Alfredo Casella, arranged by Louis Andriessen for ensemble in 2002-2003[7]
  • Inanna (2003) texts by Hal Hartley, Theo J.H. Krispijn) for 4 voices, 3 actors, mixed chorus, contrabass clarinet, 4 saxophones, violin, film (by Hal Hartley)
  • Letter from Cathy (2003) (text from a letter by Cathy Berberian to the composer) for female jazz voice, harp, violin, double bass, piano, percussion
  • Tuin van Eros (2003) for violin and piano
  • RUTTMANN Opus II, III, IV (2003) for flute, 3 saxophones, horn, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, double bass, piano (film music for a film of Walter Ruttman, written for the Filmmuseum Biennale 2003)[6]
  • Haags Hakkûh (The Hague Hacking) (2003) for 2 pianos. Renamed to Haags Hakkûh Stukje (The Hague Hacking Scrap) in 2008.
  • Racconto dall'inferno (2004) (text by Dante Alighieri) for female jazz voice, small orchestra (8 winds, 6 brass, guitar, cimbalom, 2 pianos, 2 percussion, minimum 8 strings, bass guitar). Part II of La Commedia (200408).
  • De Opening (2005) for ensemble (combined Orkest De Volharding, ASKO Ensemble, Schoenberg Ensemble)[7]
  • Vermeer Pictures (2005) concert suite for orchestra from Writing to Vermeer (arrangement by Clark Rundell)[7]
  • XENIA (2005) for violin
  • Hymne to the memory of Darius Milhaud for ensemble (1974/2006)[6]
  • Hellende Fanfare (Inclined fanfare; Fanfara inclinata) (2006) for voice and ensemble (Text by Dino Campana)[7]
  • Raadsels (Riddle) (2006) for solo violin[7]
  • Johann Sebastian Bach's Prelude in b minor from the Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 866, arranged for string quartet with the first six bars augmented with a viola part by Igor Stravinsky, completed by Louis Andriessen (2006) [5]
  • ..miserere... (200607) for string quartet[7]
  • The City of Dis or: The Ship of Fools (2007) for voices and ensemble. Part I of La Commedia (200408).[7]
  • La Commedia (200408). Film opera in five parts (texts by Dante and Vondel and from the Old Testament)[7]
  • Haags Hakkûh (The Hague Hacking) (2008) for two pianos and large ensemble[7]
  • Christiaan Andriessens uitzicht op de Amstel (Christiaan Andriessen's view on the river Amstel) (2009) for ensemble[7]
  • Life (2009) for ensemble, with film by Marijke van Warmerdam[7]
  • Anaïs Nin (2009/10) for singer, ensemble and film[7]
  • La Girò (2011), for violin solo & ensemble[9]

Notable students

  • Allison Cameron
  • Michael Fiday
  • Graham Fitkin
  • Michael Zev Gordon
  • Rozalie Hirs
  • Graeme Koehne
  • John Korsrud
  • Yannis Kyriakides
  • Daniel Matej
  • Steve Martland
  • Nathan Michel
  • Magnus Robb
  • Rodney Sharman
  • Paul Steenhuisen
  • Julia Wolfe
  • Matthew Wright
  • Ye Xiaogang
  • Jay Alan Yim


  1. John O'Mahony, "Louis the first". The Guardian, 28 September 2002.
  2. David Pay, "Don't get too comfortable". 2009.
  3. Dante-inspired opera wins Grawemeyer Award Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  4. The Living Composers Project
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Attaca records
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 Donemus catalogue
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 Louis Andriessen at Boosey & Hawkes
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Dag in de Branding edition 12
  9. http://www.laphil.com/philpedia/piece-detail.cfm?id=3362&bc=1
  • Adlington, Robert: De Staat. Hants. (UK): Ashgate (2004). ISBN 0-7546-0925-1
  • Andriessen, Louis and Elmer Schonberger (trans. Jeff Hamburg): The Apollonian Clockwork: On Stravinsky Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP (reprint, 2006). ISBN 90-5356-856-5
  • Trochimczyk, Maja (ed.): The Music of Louis Andriessen. London: Routledge (2002). ISBN 0-8153-3789-2
  • Zegers, Mirjam (ed.): Trans. Clare Yates. The Art of Stealing Time. Arc Publications. ISBN 1-900072-88-2.

External links

  • Louis Andriessen's Boosey & Hawkes Snapshot Page
  • The London Sinfonietta's Andriessen biography page
  • Louis Andriessen in conversation with Robert Davidson
This page was last modified 04.09.2012 23:35:13

This article uses material from the article Louis Andriessen from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.