Lived 1939-present
Mostly in Amsterdam
Best known for Rosa, Writing to Vermeer, La Commedia, De Materie
Similar to Stravinsky, Berio, Maxwell Davies


To claim Louis Andriessen as the most recognisable face of Dutch modern composition would be an understatement: Andriessen’s music is the defining sound of new music in Holland as surely as Ralph Vaughan Williams has become synonymous with the sound of English landscape.

That is not an analogy of which Andriessen would likely approve. Although he is a composer who indeed commits notes to manuscript paper, his relationship with the classical establishment – with its institutions and assumptions about what music can do – has always been fraught. The signature power-minimalist grooves that fuel his music, working with the cavernous, monumental sonorities they underlie, hold the whole idea of polite Classical elegance or Romantic lushness in distain.

Andriessen’s gurus are JS Bach and Igor Stravinsky, which means anything that happened in Western music...

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