Peter Adriaansz was born in Seattle in 1966 and studied composition at the conservatories of The Hague and Rotterdam, where his teachers included Louis Andriessen, Brian Ferneyhough and Peter-Jan Wagemans.

Characterized frequently as 'one of the most singular composers active in the Netherlands at the moment' Adriaansz has worked as a free-lance composer since 1993, receiving commissions and performances from ensembles, Festivals and individual musicians from all over the world, as well as writing for ensembles with more unusual instrumentations for special occasions. His works are performed and broadcast regularly worldwide and have featured on many stages, from the Holland Festival to Huddersfield and from Tashkent to Toronto.

Adriaansz' work can be characterized by a systematic, research-oriented approach towards music. An approach in which sound, structure, harmony and audible mathematics constitute the main ingredients. Starting in 2005 an interest in flexibility, variable forms and - especially - microtonal reflection gradually became predominant in his work. This latter interest lead, among other works, to several large-scale compositions for amplified ensembles, such as Prana (2007), Music for Sines, Percussion, ebows & variable Ensemble (2008) and Three Vertical Swells (2010), works for orchestra and voices (Anekabahudaravaktranetram, 2007, Verdichtingen, 2009), two extended series, on spatial harmony (Structures I-XVI, 2005) and micro acoustics (Waves 1-13, 2008) and many (electro-) acoustic works for incidental commissions, with detailed sinewave patches as a constant feature.

In recent years his work has focussed largely on expanding the world of microtonal reflection with an increased interest in speech and the role of context.

In the words of Bob Gilmore: 'If music can be a medium in which to explore the most profound existential questions, as the medieval scholars believed it could, then each generation must rephrase these questions to make them relevant to their own time. Few contemporary composers have delved so fearlessly into this realm as has Peter Adriaansz. His work is abstract music of a high order, reanimating the mediaeval idea of music as applied number: but the questions it asks are defiantly of the twenty-first century, questions about musical perception, about the nature of sound and the passage of time'.

Several of his works were nominated for various prizes, such as Chant Ascendant, for the 1994 International Gaudeamus Composers Competition and Waves 5-7, Verdichtingen and Three Studies on Elevation; selected in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively for the Dutch Toonzetters Award. In 2015 his work Scala II was awarded the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize.

In 2010 his solo CD Waves, recorded by Ensemble Klang, was released to much national as well as international press acclaim. This was followed by several other releases on labels such as Unsounds and Ergodos and most recently (2021) by the release of one of his largest works to date, Environments, on the Klang label.

Adriaansz teaches composition at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

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Peter Adriaansz
Photo by Alex-Schröder

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* = unfinished/incomplete # = withdrawn
No. 69 La Chute (2023, 18'30)
For solo piano & sinewaves
No. 68 Shimmer (2021-22, 20')
For ensemble & sine pulses
(Cb Flute, Bsn, Bass Cl, Hrn, Tn Trmb, Tb, Acc, Pno, Bass Mrb, Vln, Vla, Vlc 1, Vlc 2 (or bowed harp), Db)
No. 67 Chaser (2020-21, 23')
For solo percussion, wind ensemble & sine pulses
(2 fl, cl, 2 sax, hrn, trp, 2 trmb, tb, el gtr, bgtr, pno, perc, solo perc)
No. 66a Melody 66 (2019, 20')
For ensemble & sine pulses
(large ensemble or orchestra)
No. 65 Alternatim (2019, 20')
For ensemble & sine pulses
(picc, cl, restrung ac. guit, front-hammer harm. piano, 2 vl, vla, vc)
No. 64 Geomungo (2018, 5')
For three Geomungos
No. 63 Postscript (2017, 7')
For flute & vibraphone
No. 62 Crash Codes (2017, 7')
For ensemble
(fl/picc, cl, trb, el. guit, perc, pf, vl, vla, vc, db)
No. 61 Environments (2017-2019, 85')
For amplified ensemble, live electronics & pre-recorded tracks
(2 sax, trb, 2 vib, Bayan, pf/synth, 2 guit)
No. 60 Scala Kit (2016, 7')
For organ solo
No. 59 Shadows (2016, 25')
For solo double bass & sine waves
No. 58 Comfortzone (2015, 80') (Music Theater)
For string quartet, ceramic percussion, narrator & sinewaves
No. 57 Signals (Scala III) (2014-2020, 30')
For solo clarinet, sine waves and pre-recorded parts
No. 56 Scala II (2014, 25')
For piano, six percussionists & sinewaves
No. 55 Attachments (2013, 17')
For prepared piano & sinewaves
No. 54 Rising & Falling (2012/2013, 20)
For orchestra & sinewaves
2222 - 4221 - 4 - 12-10-8-6-4)
For percussion sextet
co-written with Maarten Altena
No. 52 Scala I (2012, 12')
For microtonal ensemble, Fokker organ & sinewaves
(fl/picc, cl, vla, el. guit, perc, midi keyboard & Fokker organ)
No. 51 Horizon (2012, 10')
For cello, vibraphone, chinese gongs & sinewaves
#51 a) single-line version
#51 b) harmony version
No. 50 Shadings (2011, 20')
For string quartet & sinewaves
No. 49 Fraction (2011, 10')
For 4 musicians
(alto sax, el. guit, pf, dulcimer & sinewaves)
No. 48 Phrase (2011, 9')
For 4 musicians
(sop. sax, el. guit, pf, pc & sinewaves)
For large choir, saxophone quartet & sinewaves
No. 46 Parallels (2010/2019, 18')
For 4 musicians
(fl, vc, pf, pc & sinewaves)
For Hammond Organ and ensemble of 7 musicians
(Hamm, 2 winds, 2 strings, el.guit, ebow piano, pc & sinewaves)
For orchestra, opt. narrator & sinewaves
For string quartet, saxophone quartet, percussion quartet & sinewaves
For recorders, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, double bass, electric guitar,
ebow piano, percussion & sinewaves
No. 41 Enclosures (2008, 20')
For soprano, viola, microtonal MIDI-keyboard & sinewaves
For 6 musicians
(2 sax, trb, el. guit, pf & pc)
No. 39 Waves 11-13 (2008, 18')
For variable ensemble of treble instruments, sinetones & subsonic waves
(fl/picc, sax/cl, vl, ebow piano, pc, bass guit & sinewaves)
No. 38 Waves 8-10 (2008, 25')*
For ensemble
No. 37 Waves 5-7 (2008, 28')
For small, variable ensemble with live delay (Wave 6)
(2 sax, trb, el. guit, ebow piano & pc)
Three translations of the name Ives Ensemble, for variable ensemble
I: equal tempered
II: in the series
III: in primes
No. 35 Prana (2007, 63')
Five sections on texts from the Bhagavadgita and St. Augustine’s Confessions
(3 el. guit, 3 perc, ebow piano, 4 female voices & optional live delay)
No. 34 Waves 1-4 (2007, 30'-40')
Four pieces for ebow piano, sines & live-delay
(solo piano plus sound engineer)
No. 33 Rule # 30 (2007, 18')
A translation of Stephan Wolfram's Cellular Automaton # 30
for multiple pianos and Midi playback
Two meditations and an Icon on texts from the Bhagavadgita for
chorus and large, variable orchestra
For violin & piano
No.31/3 Palindrome 3 (2005, 5'12)
No. 30 La Voce di Zarlino (2006, c.35' Part I 12')
three movements on texts of Gioseffo Zarlino
#30 a) for five voices (SSATB) and optional keyboard
#30 b) for multiple voices (SSATB) and variable ensemble
a short study in tiling
for two pianos
No. 28 Strands I & II (2005, 10')*
for ensemble
(bs rec, bs cl, trb, vib, pf, el guit, vl, cb)
No. 27 Structures I-XVI (2005, c. 360')
Series of sixteen scores without parts, for variable instrumentations ranging
from small ensembles to orchestras with or without live electronic delay
(Single Lines on Moving Planes)
for large ensembles (up to 22 voiced chords)
Structure I (16'40)
Descending 7-voiced-chords
Structure II (21'15)
15-voiced-chords in Diamond-form
Structure III (22'30)
ascending and descending 15-voiced-chords plus harmonic inversion
Structure IV (32'30)
22-voiced-chords in Cross-form
Structure V (21'00)
ascending 10-voiced-chords
(Single Lines on Static Planes)
for small ensembles (up to 8 voiced chords)
Structure VI (13'40)
modulating 7-voiced-chords
Structure VII (13'00)
Static 6-voiced-chords
Structure VIII (19'20)
Static 8-voiced-chords
Structure IX (16'20)
modulating 7-voiced-chords
Structure VIb (2009, 13'40)
Version for female voices, organ and male drone
(Single Lines on Moving and Static Planes)
for Orchestras or very large ensembles (up to 33 voiced chords)
Structure X (52'00)
up to 33-voiced-chords
Structure XI (21'30-32'15)
Structure XII (32'30)
up to 22-voiced-chords in Cross Form
(Double Lines on Moving and Static Planes)
for medium large ensembles (up to 13 voiced chords)
Structure XIII (20'30)
13-voiced-chords in Cross Form
Structure XIV (16'00)
8-voiced-chords on differing Axes
Structure XV (18'00)
modulating 10-voiced-chords in Wedge Form
for two sustaining chord instruments
No. 26 Altijd, Al (2005, 8')
six overlapping parts on time and quantity
for 8 voices (SSAATTBB)
for 5 musicians
(ob, cl, vl, vla, cb)
For 4 percussion
For 3 electric guitars & bass guitar
3 movements on square-root forms and proportional growth
for violin & piano
Incidental song for soprano & piano
Text: Herman Brusselmans
No. 20 9 through 99 (2003-2005, 12')
A canonic translation of Pascal's triangle, modulo 9
#20 a) for 12 musicians
(pf 4-hands, vib, mar, 2 fl, bs cl, bsn, vl, vla, vc, cb & ch cymb)
#20 b) for 6 musicians
(fl,, vib, pf, vl, vc & ch cymb)
#20 c) for 7 musicians
(alto sax, ten. sax, vib, mar, pf, vl, vc & ch cymb)
Six parts without score, for ensemble. Duration variable
(hpschd, fl + hrp, cl, trb, vc + pc, pc solo, harmony instr)
for 8 musicians
(rec, cl/bs cl, trb,, mar, pf, vl, cb)
No. 17 Untitled Composition (2002-2004, 20') *
for trumpet and organ
(6 perc, sax quartet, fl/picc, 3sax, hrn, 3tp, 3tb, bs guit, pf)
for percussion sextet, saxophone quartet and wind ensemble
(6 perc, sax quartet, fl/picc, 3sax, hrn, 3tp, 3tb, bs guit, pf)
No. 15 Battle Hymns (2002, 27')
for three multi functional musicians
For male voice, percussion & piano
For piano solo
For large Orchestra
for piano-obbligato and large ensemble
(fl, ob, cl, bcl, bsn, hrn, trp, trb, 2 pc, pf, vl, vla, vc, cb)
for harmonium and small ensemble
(fl/picc, trb, harm, 2 perc)
No. 10 Om Jou (1998, 9')
3 cynical love songs for soprano and small ensemble
(sop, vla, cb, pf, 2 perc)
For 6 Percussion & Saxophone Quartet
No. 8 Music of Mercy pt.2 (1996-1997, 20')#
For Piano & String Quartet
No. 7 Barrier Music (1995, 12')#
for wind ensemble and double-bass
(fl/pc, 3 sax, hrn, 3 tp, 3 trb, pf, db)
for two sopranos and ensemble
(fl, ob, cl, hp, guit, md, pf, vl, vla, vc, cb)
for soprano, string orchestra and 6 percussion
#4 a) for soprano & piano (10')
#4 b) for soprano, organ & percussion (12')
No. 3 Text & Treatment (1993-1995, 40')#
for 2 voices and piano
I. Music to be Displayed for soprano & piano (8') #
II. Music to Unwind for soprano, tenor & piano (8')
III. Music to be Saved for tenor & piano (25') #
For Organ solo
For violin and piano



Environments, interview Aad van Nieuwkerk, Vrije Geluiden (Dutch)
Listen to a sound excerpt on SoundCloud.

Interview Joep Christenhusz NRC, April 2021

Muziek als Objectieve Waarheid 1-6 (rev. 2011)
Zes korte essays over 'muzikale waarheid', in de vorm van een vraaggesprek met Anthony Fiumara
Gereviseerde versie 2011

Music as Objective Truth 1-6 (rev. 2011)
Six short essays on 'Musical Truth', in the form of an interview with Anthony Fiumara
Revised version 2011

Interview Vito Camaretta for Chaindlk (2012)
Published St. Petersburg, 2003. ISBN 5-93356-033-2)

Timbres, Fall 2015

Video interview with Maarten Altena (Double Music)

articles, notes & other:

Notes to Environments + Q & A (2021)

Bob Gilmore - Waves (2009)

How I became a Convert: on the use of microtonality, tuning & overtone systems in my recent work (2008/2009)
(Publication Stichting Huygens-Fokker, Journal 31, 2009. ISSN 1877-6949)

Manifest voor een nieuw Kunstbegrip
An attempt by four composers to educate a burgeoning neoliberal state into the possible meaning and function of Art; and reclaim the language. Peter Adriaansz, Maarten Altena, Rozalie Hirs & Samuel Vriezen (2011)


All and Beyond, the music of Peter Adriaansz and Piet-Jan van Rossum
(publication by November Music and MCN Holland for November Music 2010, written and edited by Anthony Fiumara.
ISBN: 978-90-76937-31-1)

Alles voorbij, de muziek van Peter Adriaansz en Piet-Jan van Rossum
(uitgave November Music en MCN voor November Music 2010, geschreven en geredigeerd door Anthony Fiumara.
ISBN: 978-90-76937-30-4)


upcoming concerts/in the making

November 8-17 (date tbd), November Music, s’ Hertogenbosch, NL Ralph van Raat, La Chute (No 69)

November 5 2024, Seoul, Korea, Ensemble SORI, 9 through 99 (No 20b)

September 23 2024, 20:00 Crossroads Lublin, Peowiaków 12, Lublin, Poland Konstantyn Napolov & Orkest de Ereprijs, Chaser (No 67)

September 22 2024, 19:15 Warsaw Autumn Festival, Warsaw Philharmonic, Warsaw Poland Konstantyn Napolov & Orkest de Ereprijs, Chaser (No 67)

August 27 2024, Noorderzon Festival, Groningen, NL Ensemble Klang, Environments (No 61)

May 23 2024, 20:15 Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Amsterdam, NL Ralph van Raat, La Chute (No 69) premiere

May 20 2024, CCM, Kiev, Ukraine Michel Marang, Signals (pt 1) (No 57)

May 5 2024, Long Play Festival - Bang on a Can, Brooklyn, New York, USA Ensemble Klang, Environments (No 61)

March 22 2024, 20:00 A4 Art Center, Chengdu, China Michel Marang, Signals (pt 1) (No 57)

March 9 2024, 20:00 Shenyang Library, Hangzhou, China Michel Marang, Signals (pt 1) (No 57)

March 6 2024, 20:00 Theater Keepitquiet, Shanghai, China Michel Marang, Signals (pt 1) (No 57)

recent concerts

October 13 2023 , 19:30 Centro di Ricerca Musicale, Teatro San Leonardo, Bologna Italy Scordatura Ensemble, Enclosures (No 41)

October 2 2023, 20:00 Musis Sacrum, Arnhem NL Konstantyn Napolov & Orkest de Ereprijs, Chaser (No 67)

September 26 2023, 18:30 La Muse en Circuit, Alfortville, France Ensemble Klang, Waves 5-7 (No 37)

September 9 2023, 20:25 Gaudeamus Music Festival, Tivoli/Vredenburg Hertz, Utrecht NL Konstantyn Napolov & Orkest de Ereprijs, Chaser (No 67)

Environments (rescheduled concerts 2021; extra dates/locations tba)
October 7 2022 Korzo, Den Haag
October 6 2022 Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Amsterdam
September 24 2022 De Doelen, Rotterdam
13/14 Feb 2022, Earport Duisburg, Katharina Gross + Arnold Marinissen, Horizon (No 51)

11 Nov 2021, 19:00 Soundplasma Festival, Talinn, Estonia
Scordatura Ensemble, Enclosures (No 41)
more information

27 Aug 2021, Festival Les Inattendues, 18:00, La cour de l’Éveche, Tournai, Belgium
Ensemble Klang, Environments (No 61)
more information

1 Jul 2021, Minimal Music Festival, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00 Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Amsterdam
Asko | Schönberg, Structure XI (No 27/11)
more information

21 April 2021, New Music Miami ISCM Festival
Chen-Hui Jen, Attachments (No 55)
more information

13 Feb 2021, De Doelen, Rotterdam
Ensemble Klang, Environments (No 61) CANCELED

11 Feb 2021, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam
Ensemble Klang, Environments (No 61) CANCELED

21 Nov 2020, 18:30, 20:15 Uilenburgersjoel, Amsterdam
Michel Marang, clarinet/video, Signals (No 57, premiere Part 1)
more information

2 Oct 2020, 20:00 Riverrun Festival, L’Athanor, Albi, France
Scordatura Ensemble, Enclosures (No 41)
more information
watch on YouTube

2 Feb 2020, 19:30 Joe Byrd Hall, Peabody, Baltimore, U.S.
Asko | Schönberg, Parallels (No 46, premiere revised version)
more information

26 Jan 2020, Galerie Marzee, 16:00, Nijmegen, Netherlands
New European Ensemble, Alternatim (No 65)
more information

11 Nov 2019, Melos-Ethos Festival, 19:00 Slovenského rozhlasu, Bratislava, Slovakia
Ensemble Spectrum, Waves 11-13 (No 39)
more information

11 Oct 2019, Gaida Festival, 20:00, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania
Ensemble Synaesthesis, Waves 3, 11-13, 2, 5-7
more information
more information

8 Sep 2019, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, 12:30 Hertz - Tivoli/Vredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands
New European Ensemble, Alternatim (No 65)
more information

6 Sep 2019, Enescu Festival, 15:00 Radio Hall, Bucharest, Romania
New European Ensemble, Alternatim (No 65, premiere)
more information

past concerts


Ensemble Klang, Environments

Saskia Lankhoorn, Ensemble Klang, Trio Scordatura, Enclosures

Crash Ensemble, Crashlands
Crash codes

Dan Lippel Aufs Lautenwerk
Serenades II-IV

Anna McMichael & Tamara-Anna Cislowska
Palindrome 3

Slagwerk Den Haag, Parade
7 Dances for Percussion 4-tet