Louis Andriessen receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam

Jan 29, 2019

The composer Louis Andriessen has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Amsterdam. Andriessen was a professor at Leiden University’s Academy for Creative and Performing Arts and is a member of the Society of Arts. He received the honorary doctorate during the University of Amsterdam’s Dies Natalis on 8 January of this year.

Andriessen enjoys great international fame and respect as a composer, but also as a performing musician. He was one of the founders of the Haagse School, an avant-garde and minimalist movement in the second half of twentieth century. He was also one of the organisers of the Aktie Notenkraker, a campaign by a group of Dutch composers at the end of the 1960s to promote the performance of more contemporary music.

Academic importance

Honorary supervisor Kati Röttger, Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Amsterdam. explained Andriessen’s significance for the world of science: ‘Louis Andriessen is of eminent importance for the performing arts, and their academic study, because of his development of the concept of works of art as a theoretical object. To Andriessen, that applies to works for musical theatre, but also to instrumental and instrumental-vocal compositions.’

Julia Kursell, Professor of Musicology at the University of Amsterdam and honorary supervisor, added: ‘Andriessen has played a crucial role in the musical life of the Netherlands and the world, as a teacher of composition at the Royal Conservatoire and in the development of the ensemble culture.’


Karen Maex, the University of Amsterdam’s Rector Magnificus: ‘Louis Andriessen is an inspiration to many. Andriessen’s compositions focus on beauty. At the same time, he is not bound by conventions, but explores new and adventurous paths in pursuit of his ideal of beauty. His work has had a huge impact and influence in the Netherlands, but also worldwide. Andriessen has also been regularly involved in projects at the University of Amsterdam, in the domains of both teaching and research. I am therefore very proud on behalf of the entire university to be awarding an honorary doctorate to Louis Andriessen this year.'

Read more: Universiteit van Amsterdam

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