PETER VAN ANROOY
Peter van Anrooy
Peter van Anrooy’s fame as a composer has faded somewhat compared with his position as an orchestral conductor who shepherded symphony orchestras in several cities into the 20th century, particularly with regard to repertoire and discipline. However, several of his compositions were at one time familiar to and loved by ...
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Biography Peter van Anrooy
Peter van Anrooy’s fame as a composer has faded somewhat compared with his position as an orchestral conductor who shepherded symphony orchestras in several cities into the 20th century, particularly with regard to repertoire and discipline. However, several of his compositions were at one time familiar to and loved by audiences.
1879 - 1898
Peter Gijsbert van (Anrooij) Anrooy is born in Zaltbommel on October 13. At age 8, he composes his first pieces for piano. He is raised in Utrecht, because of his father’s death, and takes lessons there at the music school of the Society for the Advancement of Music. His teachers are Miss R. de Bruyn (piano), Simon Adelsberg (violin), Gerrit Veerman (violin) and Johan Wagenaar (composition and music theory). In his youth, he is a violinist in the Utrecht City Orchestra, which performs several of his youth works. The conductor, Wouter Hutschenruyter, is accommodating to “the composer”.
1899 - 1900
Van Anrooy leaves the Utrecht City Orchestra to study orchestral conducting with Willem Kes, the former chief conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, first in Dresden and later in Moscow. There, he also takes composition lessons from Sergey Taneyev.
Peter van Anrooy is a violinist in the Scottish Orchestra in Glasgow, which Willem Kes conducts (1900-01) after leaving Amsterdam, and with the Tonhalle Orchester of Zürich. Spending several weeks in Utrecht between these two positions, he composes one of his best-known pieces, the 'Piet Hein Rhapsody', based on 'De Zilvervloot' [The Silver Fleet] melody by J.J. Viotta.
1902 - 1905
Van Anrooy returns to the Netherlands to serve as deputy kapellmeister of the Amsterdamsch Lyrisch Toneel, but soon after, this opera company is closed. He earns a living through music lessons (teaching the violin, ensemble playing and harmony) and conducting the high-quality J. Pzn. Sweelinck student orchestra.
1905 - 1910
In August, Peter van Anrooy succeeds Marius van ’t Kruys as conductor of the Vereeniging De Harmonie in Groningen, better known as the Groninger Orchestra. He leads the orchestra with strict discipline, much in the spirit of Kes. A partial smoking ban is observed during concerts, the rehearsals become more serious, the string section is reinforced and the repertoire is “modernized”. His “people’s concerts” are popular and attract some 900 listeners. Van Anrooy is also director of the Municipal Music School.
1910 - 1914
Van Anrooy leaves Groningen to take over leadership of the Arnhem Orchestral Society (replacing its founder, Jan Albert Kwast). He conducts his first concert there on October 2. His presence seems also to stimulate the orchestra, as a report in Caecilia indicates: “It apparently felt the electric stimulus of v. Anrooy’s temperament-filled leadership, which is characterized by an invigorating 'feu sacré' that triumphantly goes after routine and indolence.” He also becomes the conductor of the Royal Men’s Singing Society Aurora.
1914 - 1917
Peter van Anrooy receives an honorary doctorate – presented personally by professor Huizinga – from the University of Groningen. In 1915, he becomes a guest conductor of The Hague Philharmonic.
1917 - 1929
Van Anrooy goes from Arnhem to The Hague. He becomes the conductor of The Hague Philharmonic on February 15, succeeding Henri Viotta. There, as in Arnhem and Groningen, he shows himself a modern orchestral leader who demands much from the ensemble and, alongside the classical standard repertoire, adds contemporary music, not least of which the music of Dutch composers, such as Willem Pijper, Hendrik Andriessen and Henk Badings.
1929 - 1935
Van Anrooy becomes the director of The Hague chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Music. Before a Sunday afternoon concert on October 30, 1931, he delivers an agitated address in which he condemns the negativity of music journalism in The Hague. In 1935, he resigns from The Hague Philharmonic, in part because of differences over his programming policies.
At the wedding of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard, Van Anrooy refuses to perform the Horst Wessel Lied, the anthem of Hitler’s political party.
1940 - 1945
The Netherlands is occupied by the Nazis. Van Anrooy steps down from his post with the Society for the Advancement of Music and withdraws from public life, after openly criticizing the occupying force. Performances of his music are banned.
During the last seven years of his life, Peter van Anrooy presents the AVRO radio’s popular biweekly programme 'Inleiding tot Muziekbegrip' [Introduction to Musical Understanding].
Peter van Anrooy dies in The Hague on the last day of the year, December 31.
Discography Peter van Anrooy
In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.
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