As part of a three-day-residency, well-known and respected Dutch composer Louis Andriessen visited the Eastman School of Music from Feb. 20-22. Eastman’s Philarmonia and Musica Nova both performed works by the Dutch composer.

On Monday, Feb. 20, Musica Nova performed Andriessen’s “Workers’ Union” and the Philarmonia performed his “La Passione” on Wednesday night. Associate professor of conducting and ensembles at Eastman, Brad Lubman, conducted both concerts.

Andriessen draws most of his inspiration from a range of music and musicians including Bach, jazz, funk music and Stravinsky. Born into a family of intense musicians, Andriessen is said to be one of today’s most central figures among the international new music scene.

“We all feel that he is significant – not only because his music is unusual, particular, vibrant – but because he has been so influential to a generation of composers.” Chair of Eastman’s Department of Composition David Liptak said in a recent press release.

In Monday night’s performance, composers David Lang, Julia Wolf and Michael Gordon had their musical works performed alongside Andriessen’s at the Musica Nova concert. The three have been strongly influenced by much of the work of Andriessen, as is evident in much of their music.

On Wednesday night, the Eastman Philarmonia performed one of the most famous orchestral works of the past century “Le Sacre du Printemps” – The Rite of Spring – by Igor Stravinsky. This piece seemed to be a perfect fit for the evening as much of Andriessen’s music has been strongly influenced by the music of Stravinsky. Both composers have taken the classical music world by storm and left large imprints. The Philarmonia also performed Andriessen’s “La Passione.”

“Andriessen has contributed very captivating works to the canon of the 20th – and now 21st – century repertoire,” conductor Brad Lubman said. “His ideas on minimalism, which I think is an awful label, and philosophy and music in general have produced many intriguing works. He often uses unconventional combinations of his instruments, lending to his music its own sound-world.”

In addition to attending the concerts at Eastman, Andriessen worked alongside many Eastman student performers in their rehearsals and with many student composers in both the classroom setting as well as at a composition symposium. His visit left a strong impact among the Eastman community.

Lewis can be reched at slewis@campustimes.org.



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