Skip to Navigation


Louis Andriessen to Be Featured Composer at Birmingham Conservatoire Festival, Receive Honorary Doctorate

Louis Andriessen

Louis Andriessen will be the featured composer of the 2010 Frontiers+ festival at the Birmingham Conservatoire in Birmingham, England, which runs all week next week, March 15 through 19. The week's performances for Frontiers+Andriessen come from an array of musicians, including the Smith Quartet, Monica Germino, Michaela Riener, and Decibel (who will be in residence), alongside performances by students and tutors from Birmingham Conservatoire. The composer himself will be in residence as well, attending performances, working with student performers, giving master classes to composition students, and receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University.

The festival begins Monday afternoon with a free lunchtime recital featuring world premieres by student composers given by the Conservatoire’s Saxophone Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble and recorder players following collaborations with those departments. Decibel, an ensemble led by Conservatoire composition tutor Ed Bennett, performs two short concerts later that day, as part of their residency at Birmingham Conservatoire, consisting of world premieres from Conservatoire third-year undergraduate and postgraduate composers specially composed for this event.

Andriessen will take the stage on Tuesday for a mid-day composer's workshop, featuring new, specially composed works by Conservatoire composition students written for the same instrumentation as Orkest de Volharding, the ensemble Andriessen founded in the 1970s. The event includes performances and a discussion with Andriessen and the student composers. The conversation continues with an open public discussion with Andriessen later that afternoon. There's more music making at night, as the Smith Quartet and student groups perform a program featuring Andriessen's ...miserere... and Steve Reich's Triple Quartet, among other pieces.

Wednesday brings further discussion with Andriessen in an afternoon performance workshop with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group rehearsing new works by Conservatoire students. That night's concert is titled Intimate Andriessen, with a number of solo and chamber works by Andriessen paired with Stravinsky's The Owl and the Pussycat. There will be an informal post-concert discussion with the audience following the performance.

There's more Stravinsky on Thursday as Conservatoire students present that composer's Octet and The Soldier's Tale in an afternoon concert. Decibel concludes its residency in a performance that night featuring three works by Andriessen: Hout, Bells for Haarlem, and Workers Union.

The final day of Frontiers + Andriessen, Friday, begins with an all-Andriessen concert by tutors and students of Birmingham Conservatoire and includes Woodpecker performed by percussion tutor Alonso Mendoza, alongside other works.

The final event of the celebration of Andriessen's music focuses on two larger works, M is for Man, Music, Mozart and La Passione, alongside the world premiere of a new work from Paul Newland, recipient of the 2008 Birmingham Conservatoire New Millennium Commission. M is for Man, Music, Mozart will be shown with the accompanying film made by Peter Greenaway. At the beginning of the second half of the program, an Honorary Doctorate of Birmingham City University will be conferred on Louis Andriessen.

For tickets and information, visit For information on other upcoming Andriessen events, including a pair of performances at Carnegie Hall for his tenure as Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair, visit


Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.