Dutch composer of mostly stage, orchestral, chamber, vocal, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world.
Mr. Andriessen was the son of the composer and organist Hendrik Andriessen (b. 1892 – d. 1981), nephew of the composer and pianist Willem Andriessen (b. 1887 – d. 1964) and brother of the composer Jurriaan Andriessen (b. 1925 – d. 1996). He studied composition privately with his father from 1953–57 and with Kees van Baaren at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag from 1957–62, where he graduated with a first prize. He then studied composition privately with Luciano Berio in Milan in 1962–63 and in Berlin in 1963–64, assisting him with the scoring of Passaggio.
Among his honours were the selected work at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris (1977, for De Staat), the Matthijs Vermeulen Prijs (1977, for De Staat; 1992, for De Materie), the 3M Music Award (1993), the Edison Award (1993, for the recording of De Tijd), the Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall (2009–10), the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition (2011, for La Commedia), and the Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music in New York, New York (2016, for his œuvre).
He was also active in other positions. As a pianist, he often accompanied the mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian. He founded the ensemble Orkest de Volharding in Amsterdam in 1972, with which he remained associated throughout his life, and later founded the amplified ensemble Hoketus in Amsterdam in 1976, which disbanded in 1986. He wrote numerous articles, most of which appear in The Art of Stealing Time (2003, edited by Mirjam Zegers, translated by Clare Yates), and co-wrote with Elmer Schönberger the book Het Apollinisch Uurwerk (1982, translated by Jeff Hamburg as The Apollonian Clockwork, Oxford University Press), a study of Igor Stravinsky. He is furthermore the subject of the book The Music of Louis Andriessen by Maja Trochimczyk (2002, Routledge) and an examination of De Staat by Robert Adlington appeared in the series Landmarks in Music since 1950 (2004, Ashgate Publishing). In addition, he served as artistic director of the Meltdown Festival in London in 1994 and later directed the annual International Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn.
He taught instrumentation at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag from 1974–78 and taught composition there from 1978–2012. He gave guest lectures in numerous countries, including at Yale University in 1987.
His primary publishers are Boosey & Hawkes and Donemus.