Louis Andriessen, who as a younger iconoclast disrupted the Dutch classical music scene earlier than turning into one in all Europe’s most necessary postwar composers with a collection of large-scale, usually brash works, died on Thursday in Weesp, the Netherlands. He was 82.
His demise, at his dwelling close to Amsterdam in a specialised village for individuals with dementia, was introduced by his music writer, Boosey & Hawkes.
Mr. Andriessen’s musical influences included Stravinsky, bebop and American minimalism, totally different kinds that he usually offered in gleeful confrontation. His music was a singular mix of American sounds and European kinds, the composer Michael Gordon stated in a cellphone interview.
“These pieces are really constructed like big symphonic works, but using the materials of the vernacular,” he stated. “The music was the bridge between European formalism and an almost hipster riffing on American jazz and minimalism.”
In the latter a part of his profession Mr. Andriessen created monumental items that probed huge concepts. “De Tijd,” which means time in Dutch, took on that topic. “De Staat,” set to the textual content of Plato’s “Republic,” was about political group. “De Materie” (“On Matter”) started with a 17th-century treatise on shipbuilding and ended with excerpts from Marie Curie’s diaries.
He collaborated with the filmmaker Peter Greenaway on a film, “M is for Man, Music, Mozart” (1991), and two operas, “ROSA The Death of a Composer” (1994) and “Writing to Vermeer” (1999). In his e book “The Art of Stealing Time,” Mr. Andriessen wrote that in Mr. Greenaway’s movies, “I recognize something of my own work, namely the combination of intellectual material and vulgar directness.”
The opera director Pierre Audi stated that every of Mr. Andriessen’s works for the stage “could fly away into fantasy and extreme freedom of structure, with collages of different musical idioms.”
“But what characterized them all,” he added, “was an inner architecture. He managed to build operas like cathedrals.”
Mr. Andriessen’s early profession was fueled by Marxist beliefs and the will to upend conventional practices in classical music. He based two ensembles within the 1970s. De Volharding (Perseverance) consisted of gamers who had been equally versed in improvised and experimental music, with the thought of giving them better affect over the musical materials they carried out. Hoketus, which disbanded in 1987, was named after a medieval approach that splits a single musical line amongst a number of gamers.
Mr. Andriessen used that approach in “Symphony for Open Strings” (1978), during which musical phrases are painstakingly pieced collectively from single notes. The gamers use solely open strings, which means that their left fingers, which change the notes on the fingerboard, are rendered ineffective. It is a option to handicap the very devices that in conventional symphonic writing obtain nearly all of the expressive materials.
Mr. Andriessen in 2018 after a efficiency of his “Symphony for Open Strings” by the New York Philharmonic at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room. The orchestra’s music director, Jaap van Zweden, is at left.Credit…Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times
In later many years he accepted commissions from main orchestras, together with the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, which gave the premiere of his tone poem “Agamemnon” in 2018 throughout its two-week pageant dedicated to Mr. Andriessen.
In large-scale works his sound was usually strident and daring. His signature orchestration mixed beefed-up woodwind and brass together with keyboards, electrical guitars and clanging percussion.
Most of all, he favored it loud.
Mr. Gordon recalled a rehearsal of one in all Mr. Andriessen’s orchestral works at Tanglewood, the summer season dwelling of the Boston Symphony in Lenox, Mass., in 1994. Mr. Andriessen felt that the piece had come out sounding too well mannered. The musicians stated they’d hassle discovering the notes.
“I would rather you play the wrong note very loud then the right note very soft,” Mr. Andriessen responded.
Louis Andriessen was born on June 6, 1939, right into a Roman Catholic household in Utrecht, the Netherlands. His father, Hendrik Franciscus Andriessen, was a composer and organist who grew to become the director of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. His mom, Johanna Justina Anschütz, was a pianist. Louis was the youngest of six youngsters, all of whom had been musical. (Two brothers additionally grew to become composers.)
From 1956-1962 he studied composition, music principle and piano at the conservatory, then traveled to each Milan and Berlin for superior research with Luciano Berio. While learning in The Hague he met the guitarist Jeanette Yanikian who grew to become his companion. They married in 1996, and he or she died in 2008. Mr. Andriessen is survived by his second spouse, the violinist Monica Germino, whom he married in 2012 and for whom he wrote a number of works.
Beginning in 1966, Mr. Andriessen and a bunch of fellow Dutch musicians pushed for Amsterdam’s storied Concertgebouw Orchestra to interact extra vigorously with modern music. In 1969, they led what grew to become often called the Nutcracker Action, when activists sabotaged a Concertgebouw efficiency with frog-shaped metallic clickers.
That yr he collaborated on an opera, “Reconstructie” (“Reconstruction”), which decries American imperialism because it pulls collectively numerous kinds, together with pop, jazz, Mozart pastiche and a talking refrain. A weeklong run of sold-out performances of the work compelled the Dutch tradition minister to defend the spending of taxpayer cash to finance what was known as anti-American agitprop.
From 1972 to 1976 Mr. Andriessen composed “De Staat,” a piece that may come to outline his mixture of mental rigor and brash sonic exuberance. In “De Tijd,” he performed with the listener’s notion of time by manipulating repetition and silence. The frantic, clanging “De Snelheid” (“Velocity”), composed within the early 1980s, investigated the notion of pace and its relationship to concord.
In 1985 he accomplished “De Stijl,” a Mondrian-inspired piece that may turn out to be a part of the huge stage work “De Materie,” which units scientific, historic and mystical texts to a robust rating teeming with sonic hues. Reviewing a 2016 manufacturing at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan directed by Heiner Goebbels, which featured a flock of reside sheep, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times described it as “colorful, exciting and, during reflective episodes, raptly beautiful.”
Mr. Andriessen with the Philharmonic in 2018 after a efficiency of his “Agamamnon.” His signature orchestration mixed beefed-up woodwind and brass together with keyboards, electrical guitars and clanging percussion.Credit…Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times
As Mr. Andriessen’s fame grew, the classical institution he had as soon as heckled embraced him. Beginning in 1978 he taught composition at the Royal Conservatory. Yale University invited him in 1987 to lecture on principle and composition. The arts college of the University of Leiden within the Netherlands appointed him professor in 2004. He held the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall throughout the 2009-10 season.
Among different honors, he gained the celebrated Grawemeyer Award for Composition in 2011, for “La Commedia,” a polyglot romp by hell anchored in Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” and the 2016 Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music.
One of his final main works, “Theater of the World,” centering on the Jesuit thinker Athanasius Kircher, acquired its premiere in Los Angeles in 2016. The music blends youngsters’s songs, Serialism and baroque influences into what The Guardian known as a “superb, surreal journey.”
Having developed dementia, Mr. Andriessen moved to the village in Weesp for individuals with reminiscence loss final yr. The village, known as Hogeweyk, has a number of pianos, and Mr. Andriessen would improvise on them for hours.