The Dutch composer and pianist Louis Andriessen was born on 6 June 1939 in Utrecht. He studied with his father, the composer Hendrik Andriessen and with Kees van Baaren at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, then later with Luciano Berio in Milan and Berlin.
Early in his career he experimented with pastiche, serialism and tape, and reacted against the conservative Dutch contemporary music scene. From the beginning of the 1970s he avoided the conventional orchestra, writing instead for various idiosyncratic combinations of instruments which often featured orchestral instruments alongside congas and electric guitars and basses.
His mature music is influenced by Stravinsky, jazz and minimalism. Works include Hoketus (1977), De Stijl (1985) and, in collaboration with Peter Greenaway, the opera Writing to Vermeer (1997-8).
Based in Amsterdam, he teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where his students have included Graham Fitkin and Steve Martland. He received the Gaudeamus International Composers Award in 1959.
A selection of M&V articles about Louis Andriessen
Ensemble. A Cause for Celebration - 'Mechanical Advantage', Sinfonia Viva's latest Schools Residency, described by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Well Scrubbed-up and Dapper - Sinfonia Viva and conductor Duncan Ward, with guest soloists Cordelia Williams and Alice Zawadzki, leave a deep impression on Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Energy and Commitment - Sinfonia Viva's schools residency concert, heard by Mike Wheeler
Record Box. Superlative Playing - Music from the Glass Farm Ensemble impresses Malcolm Tattersall