Willem Pijper

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pijper, Willem


Born Sept. 8, 1894, in Zeist, near Utrecht; died Mar. 19, 1947, in Leidschendam, near The Hague. Dutch composer.

Pijper wrote musical criticism for a number of periodicals from 1926 to 1933, among them the journal De Muziek. In 1918 he began teaching in Amsterdam. From 1925 to 1930 he was a professor of composition at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and from 1930 to 1947 director of the Rotterdam Conservatory. Among his students were H. Badings and G. Landré. He was president of the Dutch section of the International Society for Contemporary Music.

Pijper was a representative of the new Dutch school of composition. He employed polyrhythm and monothematic music; in the latter, the music develops from a single “seed”—a chord or melodic theme. In the 1940’s he turned to traditional polyphony.

Pijper wrote the operas Halewijn (1933) and Merlijn (unfinished), three symphonies, Six Symphonic Epigrams, concertos for piano, violin, cello, and orchestra, chamber music, songs, and music for plays by Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, and J. van den Vondel.


Baren, K. van. W. Pijper. Amsterdam, 1957.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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It connects visually, amid discreet background music by composers Jakob van Domselaer and Willem Pijpers, to Johnson's monument and to the text of letters -- sent between the two architects -- projected onto photographic portraits on the far wall.