“What Reinbert did was never average, but always extreme”

“As a composer, pianist and conductor, Reinbert de Leeuw has been invaluable for the Concertgebouw.” With these words, director Simon Reinink responds to the death of De Leeuw. “He was a real pioneer in contemporary music.”

Also De Leeuw was important for the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. “The enthusiasm with which he fought for modern composers such as György Kurtág, Louis Andriessen, György Ligeti and Sofia Goebaidoelina left no one untouched. With this he managed to stir up a curiosity for contemporary music culture among a wide range of music lovers”, says the website of the Muziekgebouw. “We cherish the beautiful music that he has played in our room.”

De Leeuw was co-founder of the Schönberg Ensemble, nowadays called Asko | Schönberg and with which he has performed for 45 years. “He has fundamentally changed the Dutch music scene in the last 50 years,” says Rosita Wouda, 25 years of business director at van Akso | Schönberg. “What he did was never average, but always extreme.”

On January 12 this year he gave his last concert at the two-day festival Words & Music, an Asko | Schönberg event.

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