Conductor fails to block biography

Conductor fails to block biography


norman lebrecht

March 16, 2014

It was an authorised work, written with his cooperation, but the Dutch master Reinbert de Leeuw, 75, still went to law to block publication of Thea Derks’s generally admiring book.

He failed.

The book, no longer authorised, gets its first warm reviews in Dutch media this weekend. Het Parool: After reading the 381 page biography (…) there’s only one possible conclusion: De Leeuw has enormously put on airs.’

reinbert de leeuw


  • G Ell says:

    His Phillips recording of Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies for piano remains unsurpassed after all these years.

  • G Ell says:

    His first recording, that is, because I think he recorded the work twice.

  • Ignacio says:

    I will look for the book, I hope there is an English translation or that it was written in English. I have great respect and affection for de Leeuw’s artistry, having seen several times. He comes here to Miami to conduct our New World Symphony fellows who seem to love him. He gave us a memorable Turangalila that had the full sold-out house cheering to the rafters. I frankly don’t care much about what his neighbours may think of him, or whether he is polite to his postman. But he has a musical brain that seems to be wonder-making. So I want to learn about him, and how he thinks, and how he got to where he is, and certainly more so than a recitation of he played this and that there and in that other place.

  • steve says:

    Let’s hope there will be an English translation. A little bit of controversy has done wonders for the reputation of many musicians.

  • Dominy Clements says:

    The article says Reinbert’s objection was that he was ‘entirely not involved (consulted)’ about the creation of the book’s content, and that it that contains ‘gaps and inaccuracies’. His negative reaction it mainly that the book is not only about his music, but also about his private life.

    Reinbert says that the book is ‘entirely full of nonsense’ (‘helemaal vol onzin staat’).

    Thea Dirks sees Reinbert’s response as ‘regrettable’, and that if the book is taken from the market it will be the second time that journalistic independence and freedom of expression has seriously been brought into question.

    Strong stuff from both sides. This translator wishes to remain entirely neutral!

  • Thea Derks says:

    Tips for an English translation are welcome! For those who read Dutch: on my blogsite you can find a link to my interview with Erik Voermans in Het Parool, 15 March. We speak about the genesis and developments of my book.