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Louis Andriessen Timeline

A year by year alignment of Andriessen's life and works

The chronological list of works indicates the publisher of each work and provides links for further information on those published by Boosey & Hawkes


Born on 6 June in Utrecht into a musical family. His father Hendrik, a composer and organist at the cathedral, instils a fascination with Bach and a love of French music including that of Roussel, Duparc and Chausson. His uncle Willem is a composer and pianist, and his older brother Jurriaan a composer.



Netherlands liberated from Nazi occupation, and work of rebuilding Dutch artistic life and culture begins


Starts listening avidly to jazz on radio, including Stan Kenton. Family moves to The Hague.


Jurriaan returns from USA with collection of early jazz recordings, stimulating a lasting love of bop and cool, including Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie and Miles Davis.


Composition studies with his father


Writes Sonate for flute and piano, the earliest piece to remain in his catalogue

Sonate for flute and piano Don/BH

Begins studies at The Hague Conservatory with Kees van Baaren. Fellow students include Peter Schat, Misha Mengelberg and Hans van Sweeden. Interest in avant-garde develops, particularly radical post-war aesthetic of Boulez and Stockhausen

Elegy for cello or double bass and piano BH

Nuit d'ete for piano 4-hands Don/BH

Composes Séries for two pianos, one of the first Dutch serial works

Series for two pianos Don/BH

Percosse for flute, trumpet, bassoon and percussion ms

Nocturnen for soprano and chamber orchestra BH

Ittrospezione I for piano 4-hands BH

Trois pieces for piano left hand Don/BH

Aanloop en sprongen (Rincorsa e salti) for flute, oboe and clarinet Don/BH

Joli commentaire for piano 4-hands ms

Paintings for flute and piano Moe

Wins Conservatory’s composition prize and embarks on studies with Berio in Milan and Berlin

Triplum per chitarra for guitar BvP

Canzone 3.Utinam for soprano and piano Don/BH

Ittrospezione II for orchestra Don/BH

Registers for piano Don/BH

Ittrospezione III (Concept I) (Concept I) for 2 pianos and ensemble Don/BH

A flower song III  for cello Don/BH

A flower song II for oboe Don/BH



Sweet for alto (treble) recorder Sch

Returns to the Netherlands and works as composer and pianist in Amsterdam

Double for clarinet and piano Don/BH

Ittrospezione III (fragment) for 2 pianos and tenor saxophone (ad lib) Don/BH

Ittrospezione III (Concept II) for 2 pianos and ensemble Don/BH

Souvenirs d’enfance Collection of works for solo piano Que

Anachronie I, with its references to Italian pop music and its collaging of styles, represents broadening of influences

The Garden of Ryoan-gi for 3 electric organs ms

Anachronie I for orchestra BH

Collaborative musico-political projects with Reinbert de Leeuw, Misha Mengelberg, Peter Schat and Jan van Vlijmen. A concert at the Carre Theatre is surrounded by police suspecting revolutionary activity

Contra tempus for wind ensemble, percussion and improvising ensemble Don/BH

Co-operative opera Reconstructie attempts break with conservative Dutch musical tradition. Protest at Concertgebouw concert with the group known as ‘Nutcracker’ against the orchestra’s then scant programming of living composers is quelled by the demonstrators’ ejection from the hall: the composer decides not to write again for conventional symphony orchestra

Reconstructie Opera (with Peter Schat, Jan van Vlijmen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Misha Mengelberg, Hugo Claus and Harry Mulisch) Don/BH

Anachronie II Musique d’ameublement for oboe and orchestra Don/BH

Choralvorspiele for barrel organ ms

Hoe het is [How it is] for live electronics and 52 strings Don/BH

The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven, with an ice cream bell challenging the hegemony of the classics, represents a crisis point: new avenues for a positive synthesis of music and politics are to open up

Spektakel for wind ensemble, percussion and improvising ensemble Don/BH

The nine symphonies of Beethoven for orchestra and ice-cream seller's bell Don/BH

Vergeet mij niet [Forget me not] for an oboe/piano player ms

In Memoriam Electronic Music Don/BH

Volkslied for an unlimited number of any instruments Don/BH

Le voile du bonheur for violin/voice and piano Don/BH

De Volharding [Perseverance] for wind ensemble Don/BH

Founds wind band De Volharding (Perseverance), to take music out to the people on the streets. The work of that name confronts the new avant-garde of American minimalism for the first time, and initiates a re-examination of unison writing. Starts work on De Staat, which is intended as an objective counterbalance to the ethereal minimalism of Terry Riley.


Thanh Hoa for voice and piano

Composes Il Duce and Il Principe, to form a political triptych with De Staat

Il Duce Electronic music Don/BH

The Family Film music for ensemble ms

On Jimmy Yancey for wind ensemble BH

Begins teaching instrumentation at the Conservatory in The Hague

Il principe for two choirs and wind ensemble Don/BH

Symfonieën der Nederlanden [Symphonies of the Netherlands] for 2 or more wind bands Mol

Melodie for treble recorder and piano Sch

Hymne to the memory of Darius Milhaud for symphony orchestra Don/BH

Wals for piano Don/BH

Workers Union for any loud-sounding group of instruments Don/BH

Nederland, let op uw schoonheyt [Monuments of the Netherlands] for brass band and/or wind band Mol

Experiments at the Conservatory with music written for two symmetrical groups of instruments, leading to founding of Hoketus to rehearse and perform the music’s complex rhythmic interchanges. Completes De Staat whose premiere in Amsterdam provides a defining moment in Dutch new music.

Hoketus for 2 groups of five instruments BH

Starts composing music theatre works for the group Baal, including Matthew Passion, Orpheus and George Sand.


De Staat for 4 women’s voices and large ensemble (1972-76) BH

Mattheus passie [Matthew Passion] Music theatre ms

De Staat wins the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize and the first prize of Unesco’s International Rostrum of Composers.

Orpheus Music theatre Asc

Appointed as composition teacher at the Conservatory in The Hague

Symphony for open strings for 12 solo string-players BH

Laat toch vrij die straat for voice and piano Don/BH

Ende for recorder player, playing two alto recorders Asc

George Sand Music theatre ms

Erik Satie - Messe des Pauvres arrangement for mixed choir and ensemble Don/BH

Un beau baiser for chorus Don/BH

Reinbert de Leeuw conducts premiere of De Tijd in The Hague. Hoketus tours a programme of Andriessen, Rzewski and Nyman around the UK on the Contemporary Music Network including a concert at the Huddersfield Festival.

De Tijd for female choir and large ensemble (1980-1981) BH

La Voce for cello Don/BH

Commentaar for voice and piano Don/BH

Completes work with Elmer Schoenberger on Stravinsky study, The Apollonian Clockwork.

Overture to Orpheus for harpsichord Don/BH

Disco for violin and piano Don/BH

Begins work on De Snelheid. John Adams conducts members of the San Francisco Symphony in the US premiere of De Staat.

Trepidus for solo piano BH


Menuet voor Marianne for piano Don/BH

Y despues for voice and piano Don/BH

De Snelheid premiered by San Francisco Symphony under Edo de Waart. De Staat featured at Tanglewood under Gunther Schuller. Teaches at CalArts.

De Snelheid [Velocity] for large ensemble (1983-84) BH

Premiere of De Stijl in Amsterdam

De Stijl (De Materie part III) for 4 women’s voices, female speaker and large ensemble (1984-85) BH

Berceuse voor Annie van Os for piano Don/BH

De Staat performed by New York Philharmonic under Schuller

Dubbelspoor (version for dance) [Double Track] for piano, harpsichord, glockenspiel and celesta Don/BH

De Lijn [The Line] for 3 flutes ms

Lectures on musical theory and composition in USA at Yale. Hoketus is disbanded. Work continues on De Materie, commissioned for the opening of the new Muziektheater in Amsterdam.

De Materie (Part I) for tenor, 8 voices and large ensemble BH

Hadewijch (De Materie part II) for soprano, 8 voices and large ensemble BH

De Toren [The Tower] for carillon Don/BH

De Materie (Part IV) for female speaker, 8 voices and large ensemble BH

De Materie is premiered in staging by Robert Wilson, conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw

Nietzsche redet for reciter and ensemble Don/BH

Composes Facing Death for the Kronos Quartet

Facing Death for 4 amplified strings or saxophone quartet BH

Flora tristan for chorus Don/BH

First collaboration with Peter Greenaway in video film, M is for Man, Music, Mozart, commissioned by BBC TV for the composer’s bicentenary. New series of recordings on Nonesuch inaugurated with De Staat.

M is for Man, Music, Mozart for jazz singer and ensemble BH

Hout for tenor saxophone, marimba, guitar and piano BH

Lacrimosa for 2 bassoons Don/BH

Romance voor Caecilia for piano Don/BH

Wins Matthijs Vermeulen Prize a second time. Signs publishing contract with Boosey & Hawkes. Reinbert de Leeuw conducts concert performances of De Materie in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

The Memory of Roses for piano and toy piano BH

Dances for soprano and chamber orchestra BH

Chorale for solo piano BH

Deuxieme chorale for hand-operated music box BH

... not being sundered for soprano, flute and cello BH

Festival weekend in The Hague includes the Residentie Orkest in Mausoleum and Nocturnen. Huddersfield Festival feature includes UK premiere of Hadewijch. Documentary film by Peter West and Steve Martland, A Temporary Arrangement with the Sea, is screened on BBC2 TV. Memory of Roses album recorded. Awarded the 3M Music Laureate, then the most prestigious Dutch arts prize.

Lied for solo piano BH

Artistic Director of Meltdown festival at South Bank Centre in London. First UK performance of the complete De Materie consolidates reputation as a major international figure. Featured composer at Tanglewood Festival including US premiere of Hadewijch. Rosa, a first operatic collaboration with Peter Greenaway, is staged at Muziektheater in Amsterdam, with 10 sell-out performances.

ROSA The Death of a Composer [a horse drama] Music theatre work in 2 acts (1993-94) BH

Zilver for mixed ensemble BH

Base for piano left hand BH

A Song of the Sea [Een lied van de Zee] for unaccompanied voice BH

Ensemble InterContemporain under David Robertson gives French premiere of De Staat, Ensemble Modern under Sian Edwards the German premiere of De Snelheid. California EAR Unit gives first performance of Zilver in Los Angeles.

De Komst van Willibrord [Willibrord’s Arrival] for carillon BH

To Pauline O for solo oboe BH

Premieres of The Last Day in Amsterdam under Reinbert de Leeuw and TAO in Donaueschingen under Peter Eötvös. Featured composer at Settembre Musica in Turin, including Italian premieres of De Tijd and De Materie. US premiere of De Stijl at BAM Festival in New York and Finnish premiere of De Staat by Avanti. Lectures at Princeton in USA. Nonesuch releases complete recording of De Materie to great critical acclaim.

The Last Day [Trilogy of The Last Day Part I] for 4 male voices, child’s voice, and large ensemble BH

TAO [Trilogy of The Last Day Part II] for solo piano, 4 women’s voices and ensemble BH

Ensemble Modern gives first complete performance of Trilogy of the Last Day in Cologne, the Italian premiere of De Snelheid in Turin, and tours De Staat to Berlin, Frankfurt and Vienna.

dancing on the bones [Trilogy of The Last Day Part III] for children’s voices and ensemble BH

De Herauten [The Heralds] for brass and timpani BH

Dutch premiere of complete Trilogy of the Last Day is 1000th VARA Matinée concert at the Concertgebouw. Revival of Rosa at Muziektheater in Amsterdam. Frank Scheffer film The Way, based on TAO, produced by Allegri Film and AVRO

Odysseus' Women for 4 women’s voices and chamber orchestra BH

De Eerste Minnaar [The First Lover] for boy soprano and organ BH

Completes second operatic collaboration with Peter Greenaway, Writing to Vermeer, which is premiered in Amsterdam in December. Performances and record releases to celebrate 60th birthday.

Writing to Vermeer Opera (1997-99) BH

Nonesuch releases first recording of ROSA. Writing to Vermeer staged at Adelaide Festival and Lincoln Center in New York. Collaborates with film-maker Hal Hartley on The New Math(s).

The New Math(s) for voice, flauto traverso, violin, marimba and CD BH

What Shall I Buy You, Son? for voice and piano BH

Shopping List of a Poisoner for a singer who also writes BH

Inanna's Descent for female voice and small ensemble BH

Feli-citazione for solo piano BH

Ars Musica festival in Brussels opens with an all-Andriessen concert. Featured composer at Queensland Festival in Brisbane.

De vleugels van de herinnering - WITHDRAWN [the wings of memory] for voice and piano BH

Andriessen festival at the South Bank Centre in London, including world premiere of La Passione and concert performance of Writing to Vermeer. New books on the composer published by Routledge and Arc.

La Passione for solo voice, solo violin and ensemble BH

Garden of Eros [Tuin van Eros] for string quartet BH

A Very Sharp Trumpet Sonata for solo trumpet BH

Fanfare, to start with for six groups of horns

Bells for Haarlem for two keyboards and two percussion BH

BH=Boosey & Hawkes
Don/BH=published by Donemus and represented by Boosey & Hawkes in the UK and British Commonwealth, Eire, South Africa and the Western Hemisphere (including but not limited to the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America).
Asc=Ascolta Music Publishing, Houten
BvP=Broekmans & van Poppel, Amsterdam
Moe=Hermann Moeck Verlag, Celle
Mol=Molenaar’s Muziekcentrale, Wormeveer
Que=E.M.Querido’s Uitgeverij, Amsterdam
RHE=Red House Editions, Footscray, Australia
Sch=Schott & Co Ltd, London

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