Louis Andriessen

Composer and teacher, Louis Andriessen was widely acknowledged as the most important creative force to emerge from the Netherlands in the second half of the 20th century. This was due to the originality and quality of such compositions as De Staat (1976), Hoketus (1977) and the opera Writing to Vermeer (1999), but also his engagement in political activities that helped bring about democratic changes in the organisation of Dutch culture. Andriessen was a noted teacher of composition and had a worldwide influence on younger composers.

Recent commissions included Mysteriën, premiered by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, Agamemnon for the New York Philharmonic under Jaap van Zweden, the opera Theatre of the World which received first performances in Los Angeles and Amsterdam, and The only one for Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen. His final work was May, for choir and orchestra, a tribute to Frans Brüggen which set texts from the classic Dutch impressionist poem by Herman Gorter and was premiered in the NTR ZaterdagMatinee series at the Concertgebouw in December 2020.

Louis Andriessen held the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall, and was awarded Composer of the Year Award by Musical America in 2010. He won the 2011 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for his opera La Commedia and in 2016 was awarded the Kravis Prize for New Music.

Andriessen passed away July 1st. He was 82.