Louis Andriessen

Louis Andriessen (born Utrecht: 6 June 1939) is a Dutch composer based in Amsterdam. He teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and his music is published by Donemus in the Netherlands and Boosey & Hawkes in the United Kingdom. His recordings appear on the Nonesuch Records label. Andriessen was born 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). ...show more

Louis Andriessen (born Utrecht: 6 June 1939) is a Dutch composer based in Amsterdam. He teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and his music is published by Donemus in the Netherlands and Boosey & Hawkes in the United Kingdom. His recordings appear on the Nonesuch Records label. Andriessen was born 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 Royal Conservatory of The Hague, before embarking upon two years of study with Italian composer Luciano Berio in Milan and Berlin. Andriessen is married to the former Jeanette Yanikian, a guitarist. They have been a couple for over 40 years, but only married in 1996. Andriessen's early works show experimentation with various contemporary trends: post war serialism (Series, 1958), pastiche (Anachronie I, 1966-67), 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 Stravinsky and American minimalism. His harmonic writing eschews the consonant modality of much minimalism, preferring post war European dissonance, often crystallised into large blocks of sound. ...show less