Ton de Leeuw

Ton de Leeuw was born on November 16th, 1926 in Rotterdam of the Netherlands. The Dutch born composer began composition lessons with Henk Badings between 1947 and 1949. He studied with Olivier Messiaen and Thomas de Hartmann in Paris between 1949 and 1950 and also completed ethnomusicological studies with Jaap Kunst at the University of Amsterdam until 1954.

He was appointed music director of the Netherlands Radio Union between 1954 and 1959. This appointment served as a good entrance into the electronic music. Some of his earlier works were completed at the Studio of the Netherlands Radio Union. Study, composed in 1957 is a work influenced by the Musique Concrète school of Paris.

During the 1950's his position as director enabled him to compose several electroacoustic works. This became more difficult in the 1960's as his access to the necessary lab space was curtailed. Study was composed during De Leeuw's early flirtation with serial music. In the work, he divides the octave into 31 separate pitches. The works title refers to the experimental nature of the piece. De Leeuw was attempting to create new sound structures using previously impossible divisions between pitch. He also used a method of slow glissandi (or sliding) to gradually develop the musical evolution of the work.

Like much of the early electronic experimentation, De Leeuw's work sounds dated, nevertheless his experimentation with microtonality is interesting.

De Leeuw died in 1996.

Artwork / Date Title Rating Medium
1952 Missa Brevis 3.50 stars CD
Leonard Bernstein - Prelude, Fugue and Riffs Comments:
Quink Vocal Ensemble

(Machteld Van Woerden - Soprano,
Kees-Jan De Koning - Bass,
Harry Van Berne - Tenor,
Corrie Pronk - Alto,
Marjolein Koetsier - Soprano)
1953 Prière 3.50 stars CD
Leonard Bernstein - Prelude, Fugue and Riffs Comments:
Quink Vocal Ensemble

(Machteld Van Woerden - Soprano,
Kees-Jan De Koning - Bass,
Harry Van Berne - Tenor,
Corrie Pronk - Alto,
Marjolein Koetsier - Soprano)
1954 En begheeft my niet; Egidius, waer bestu bleven? 4.00 stars CD
Leonard Bernstein - Prelude, Fugue and Riffs Comments:
Quink Vocal Ensemble

(Machteld Van Woerden - Soprano,
Kees-Jan De Koning - Bass,
Harry Van Berne - Tenor,
Corrie Pronk - Alto,
Marjolein Koetsier - Soprano)
ca 1953-1955 Het vissertje 4.00 stars CD
Leonard Bernstein - Prelude, Fugue and Riffs Comments:
Quink Vocal Ensemble

(Machteld Van Woerden - Soprano,
Kees-Jan De Koning - Bass,
Harry Van Berne - Tenor,
Corrie Pronk - Alto,
Marjolein Koetsier - Soprano)
1957 Mouvements rétrogrades 4.00 stars LP
Leonard Bernstein - Prelude, Fugue and Riffs Comments:
This is based on the famous cord from Stravinsky's Symphony for Winds

Residentie Orkest cond. Ernest Bour

1963 Symphonies of Winds 4.50 stars LP
Comments:
This is based on the famous cord from Stravinsky's Symphony for Winds

Radio Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Ernest Bour

1964 String Quartet No 2 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
The Gaudeamus Quartet
1970 Cloudy Forms 4.00 stars 5 CD
Comments:
Dutch Chamber Choir cond. Ed Spanjaard