Louis Andriessen (Utrecht, 1939) studied piano, music theory and composition with, amongst others, Kees van Baaren at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague and later in Milan with Luciano Berio. In 1975, Andriessen returned to his alma mater in The Hague to teach there himself.In his early years, Andriessen's major influences were Berio and Cage, but during the course of the 1960's he developed ideas on style and material which were closer to Stravinsky and the Group des Six. From the 1970's American minimal music started to influence his music as well. In 1969, Andriessen, together with De Leeuw, Mengelberg, Schat, Van Vlijmen, Hugo Claus and Harry Mulisch, staged the controversial opera Reconstructie, a sharp indictment of capitalism and the Vietnam War. A year later, he was involved in the Notenkrakersactie, which was a protest by a group of young Dutch composers against the conservative music policy of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Since, Andriessen's stance towards the musical establishment has become increasingly critical and politics have become an integral part of his work. In the 1970's he formed Hoketus and De Volharding, two ensembles who tried to reach a new audience with their politically tinged music and pioneered the Netherlands' rich ensemble culture. With major works such as De Staat (1976), Mausoleum (1979) and De Materie (1989), Andriessen gained international acclaim and recognition as the founder and leader of the 'New Hague School'. In 2013, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra performed the world premiere of Mysteriën. In 1994, Andriessen worked with filmmaker and writer Peter Greenaway for the first time on the music theatre production Rosa, a Horse Drama. In the late 1990's they renewed their collaboration on Writing to Vermeer. Since 1969, Andriessen's music has been performed regularly at the Holland Festival. In 2008, his film opera La Commedia premiered at the festival.