Louis Andriessen
1939-2021

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The Holland Festival commemorates Louis Andriessen, one of the most important and influential composers in the Netherlands, who has died at the age of 82. 

He celebrated many successes at the Holland Festival since his festival debut in 1967. Famous was the 1969 opera Reconstruction, which Andriessen created together with Reinbert de Leeuw, Mischa Mengelberg, Peter Schat and Jan van Vlijmen, among others. In 1981 he was central composer of the festival, which culminated in, among other things, the 'Night of Andriessen'. In 1989 the festival opened with the world premiere of De Materie ('The Matter') directed by Robert Wilson. In 2008 Holland Festival and De Nederlandse Opera brought together La Commedia, directed by Hal Hartley and featuring Claron McFadden, Jeroen Willems and Cristina Zavalloni, among others. This was followed in 2016 by Theatre of the World, a collaboration with the Quay Brothers, which like almost all performances of Andriessen's music in the festival was conducted by his good friend Reinbert de Leeuw. In the cancelled 2020 festival edition, his last work, May, was to have its world premiere - a premiere that could eventually take place in the ZaterdagMatinee in December 2020. 

We will miss Louis, as the creator of a large, impressive and influential oeuvre, as a composer who helped determine the standing of Dutch musical life, and as an inspiration to many musicians, composers and listeners at home and abroad. His music will remain.


Photo: Marco Borggreve