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In the field of modern and contemporary music, REINBERT DE LEEUW is a widely known and highly respected musician. Born in Amsterdam, Reinbert de Leeuw covers a wide field with his musical activities: conductor, composer, and pianist. Since 1974 he has been conductor and music director of the Schönberg Ensemble. He is also author of a book on Charles Ives and a book with musical essays and has collaborated on eight film documentaries on 20th-century composers such as Messiaen, Ligeti, Gubaidulina, Vivier, and Górecki which have been shown on Dutch television and won international acclaim.
Reinbert de Leeuw regularly conducts Holland’s foremost orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Residentie Orchestra The Hague, and ensembles such as the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the ASKO and the Netherlands Wind ensembles, and the orchestras of the Dutch Radio. He has toured and performed in festivals worldwide. He was guest artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival (1992) and was artistic director of the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music (1994-1998). In the 1995/96 season he was the center point of the Carte Blanche series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. He is involved in the organization of the series “Contemporaries” at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
He is a regular guest in most European countries (France, Germany [Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra], England, Belgium) and the United States (Tanglewood Festival, New World Symphony, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Group, Aspen, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and lectures at the Juilliard School of Music in New York), Japan, and Australia (where he has served as artistic advisor for the contemporary music series of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2004). During that period he conducted several concerts in Sydney and at the Brisbane Festival.
Reinbert de Leeuw has been involved in various opera productions at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam. His recent productions there were Stravinsky (The Rake’s Progress), Andriessen (Rosa, a Horse Drama; Writing to Vermeer), Ligeti (Le Grand Macabre), Vivier (Rêves d’un Marco Polo), Robert Zuidam’s opera Rage d’Amours, the world premiere of Louis Andriessen’s La Commedia, and Zuidam’s new opera Adam in Exile. In 2010, Reinbert de Leeuw conducted the new opera of Klaas de Vries at the National Touring Opera.
His recordings as a pianist have won many prizes, including the Dutch Edison, the Premio della critica discografica Italiana, the Grand Prix of the Hungarian Liszt Society, and the Diapason D’Or. Some 30 recordings as a conductor have been brought out by Philips, Teldec, DG, Nonesuch, and Ovidis Montaigne, and cover a wide range of repertoire by Messiaen, Stravinsky, Janácek, Liszt, Gubaidulina, Ustvolskaya, Schoenberg, Webern, Vivier, Andriessen, and Reich. In July 2006, the Schönberg Ensemble brought out a CD/DVD box documenting 30 years of their concerts and recordings on 25 CDs and DVDs, most of which are conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw (Schönberg Ensemble Edition “A century of music in perspective”).
Reinbert de Leeuw has received the Sikkens Award (1991) and the prestigious 3M prize (1992), and in 1994 he was made Honorary Doctor at the University of Utrecht; he is a Professor at the University of Leiden.
Reinbert de Leeuw is co-founder and since 2001 artistic director of the Summer Academy, the international orchestra and ensemble academy of the National Youth Orchestra. For his performance of Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux Étoiles with the Summer Academy Orchestra in 2006, he received the “Angel” for the best performance during the Edinburgh Festival.