The great Reinbert de Leeuw passed away this afternoon. I didn’t know what to post. How to honour my Friend, Mentor, Lodestar? So many unforgettable moments in the past 20 years, but this trip was particularly special. He will always be in my heart, and remains a guide and inspiration for generations of musicians and composers.
Pierre Audi, former head of Dutch National Opera:
« I want to thank you for the love and urgency you put into your art. You cannot be imitated but your example can remind us that notes on a page are worthless without the sacrifices and vision of the one who needs to turn those notes into the sound of someone’s boundless fantasy or often bleeding soul. »
Luckily Reinbert heard me speak those words to him on the occasion of his receiving the Oeuvre Prize from the Prins Bernhard Fonds a few months ago. The Prize which honoured a lifetime dedicated to outstanding and pioneering musical interpretations. An Œuvre that has earned its place in the History of Music.
Luckily also, Barbara Hannigan and Reinbert offered spontaneously to perform for me on my official farewell to Dutch National Opera on September 30th 2018. What an unforgettable surprise moment and a moving blessing that was.
Thank you Reinbert for 32 years of intense friendship and collaboration.
RIP dearest Reinbert
In the 90s my Dad was in Holland a lot and so we spent tons of time there together. Reinbert and Oldie were so sympatico. I have so many memories rushing around my head but here are the things that you should know today:
Reinbert used to help me order really lovely chocolates that came with coffee at the restaurant next door to the Concertgebouw. I didn’t like coffee then so in Dutch he’d order the chocolates but without the coffee with a caring and loving smile on his face.
I literally watched Reinbert, Bob Spano and my Dad sing, shout and grunt their version of Stockhausen’s Gruppen in our Stockbridge living room when they prepared for the first Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra rehearsals of the piece that took place in the west barn. I’ve never seen three such serious people have so much fun!
Reinbert de Leeuw — the great pianist and conductor — passed away today. He was Ustvolskaya’s ever favorite performer, she was always happy when he played her music.
Reinbert saw her scores (Octet) for the first time in 1989, it was “the complete shock”. He was so intrigued, fascinated — “My God, who’s writing this? Noone was writing music like that. Noone. And that is totally unique.”
Her scores always were very clear for him. “I had no doubt of what she wanted to express. This urgency of her message is so overwhelming.”
We received the sad news that conductor, pianist and composer Reinbert de Leeuw has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.