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The Boston Globe

Music

Classical Notes

At 75, Andriessen, and his influence, worth celebrating

One of the most important pieces of advice Louis Andriessen got about being a composer came from his father, Hendrik, also a composer. “You should realize that we are not important,” Andriessen remembers his father saying. “The music is important. So we should serve the music.”

This attitude, he continues during a phone conversation from his home in Amsterdam, “is the opposite of the idea that the composer should be completely, 100 percent busy trying to express himself. I think this is not the thing you should be doing. You simply have to write as good as you can. This is the point.”

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