Andriessen, Louis

Louis Andriessen (6 June 1939 - 1 July 2021) was a pianist and composer from Amsterdam. He is a professor at The Hague's Royal Conservatory. In 1959, he received the Gaudeamus International Composers Award. Andriessen was the son of composer Hendrik Andriessen (1892–1981), brother of composers Jurriaan Andriessen (1925–1996) and Caecilia Andriessen (1931–2019), and nephew of Willem Andriessen (1887–1964). He was born in Utrecht into a musical family. Andriessen studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with his father and Kees van Baaren before moving to Milan and Berlin to study with Luciano Berio for two years. Later, he became a member of the Royal Conservatory's faculty. Andriessen co-founded STEIM in Amsterdam in 1969. He also aided in forming the instrumental groups Orkest de Volharding and Hoketus, both of which performed works by him. Later, he became deeply interested in the ongoing Schonberg and Asko ensembles. He was the driving force behind creating the British group called Icebreaker.

Jeanette Yanikian (1935–2008), a musician, was Andriessen's wife. They were married in 1996 after being together for over 40 years. Andriessen's early works show him experimenting with a variety of contemporary phenomena, including postwar serialism (Series, 1958), pastiche (Anachronie I, 1966–67), and tape (Anachronie II, 1968). (Il Duce, 1973). He quickly developed his radically different musical aesthetic in response to what he saw as the populism of most Dutch contemporary music scenes. Since the early 1970s, he has declined to write for traditional symphony orchestras, preferring to compose for his idiosyncratic instrumental ensembles, which often include conventional orchestral instruments alongside electric guitars, electric basses, and congas. Andriessen's mature music incorporates jazz, American minimalism, Igor Stravinsky, and Claude Vivier's influences. His harmonic writing avoids minimalism's consonant modality favoring postwar European dissonance, mainly crystallized into vast tone blocks. Large-scale works like De Staat ['Republic'] (1972–76), for example, are inspired by the vitality of Count Basie and Stan Kenton's big band music and Steve Reich's repetitive procedures, all coupled with vivid, clashing dissonances. As a result, Andriessen's music differs from postwar European serialism and offshoots. He's also contributed to developing non-traditional performance methods, such as forceful, rhythmic articulations and amplified non-vibrato singing. Louis Andriessen's famous cello pieces are Elegy, A Flower Song III, La Voce, and Zilver. 

Cello Compositions of Louis Andriessen | Animato Strings


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