Reinbert de Leeuw

Reinbert de Leeuw (born Amsterdam, 8 September 1938) is a Dutch conductor, pianist and composer.


He studied music theory and piano at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and composition with Kees van Baaren at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

He taught at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. He is a well-known conductor and pianist performing mainly contemporary music. He is the founder of the “Dutch Charles Ives Society”. Since 2004, he has been a professor at the Leiden University in “performing and creative arts of the 19th, 20th and 21st century".

In 1974, he founded the Schönberg Ensemble. They mainly focused on performing works by the Second Viennese School and the avant-garde. He composed the piece Etude (1983–1985) for the strings of the ensemble.

de Leeuw regularly conducts the Netherlands' major orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, New Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Residentie Orchestra The Hague and ensembles such as the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the ASKO, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, and the orchestras of the Dutch Radio. In the 1995-96 season, he was the centre point of the 'Carte Blanche' series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. He is involved in the organization of the series 'Contemporaries' at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.[2]

He is a regular guest in most European countries (France, Germany including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, England, Belgium) and the United States (Tanglewood Festival, New World Symphony, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Group New York, Aspen, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minneapolis, and lectures at the Juilliard School of Music in New York), Japan and Australia.

Reinbert de Leeuw has been involved in various opera productions at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam as well as with the Nederlandse Reisopera. Productions include works by Stravinsky (The Rake’s Progress), Louis Andriessen (Rosa - A Horse Drama; Writing to Vermeer), György Ligeti (Le Grand Macabre), Claude Vivier (Rêves d’un Marco Polo), Robert Zuidam (Rage d‘Amours) and Benjamin Britten (The Turn of the Screw). In 2011, de Leeuw conducted Schoenberg's monumental Gurre-Lieder, which was the realisation of an old ambition of his.

In 1992, he was guest artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival and from 1994–1998 artistic director of Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. de Leeuw was artistic advisor for contemporary music with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and from 2001 to 2010, he served as artistic leader at the Nederlandse Orkest- en Ensemble-Academie (NJO; Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy).

de Leeuw mostly made his recordings for Philips, Koch and Nonesuch.


On the occasion of his 70th birthday, Reinbert de Leeuw was decorated with Knight of Order of the Netherlands Lion.[3]



  • 1965 Interplay for orchestra
  • 1971–1973 Abschied, Symphonic poem for large orchestra
  • 2013 Der nächtlige Wanderer, Symphonic poem for large orchestra

Works for wind band

  • 1970 Hymns and Chorals

Vocal music

  • 2003 Im wunderschönen Monat Mai - Dreimal sieben Lieder nach Robert Schumann

Chamber music

  • 1962–1963 Quartetto per archi
  • 1983–1985 Etude for string quartet

Piano works

  • 1964 Music for piano I
  • 1966 Music for piano II


  1. Reinbert de Leeuw - About the Conductor
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2012-01-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. NOS Nieuws - Ridder Reinbert


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