Andriessen studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory and began his professional career as organist in Haarlem, succeeding his father in that position. He later was organist at the Utrecht Cathedral and taught organ at the Roman Catholic School for Church Music. He was director for the conservatory in Utrecht, director of the Royal Conservatory in the Hague and professor of music history at Nijmegen University. He wrote many works for Catholic church services as well as four symphonies, some chamber music and songs. Andriessen's work can be characterized as comtemplative lyricism, with improvisational qualities. Andriessen was known for his improvisational abilities. His son Louis has been getting a lot of attention lately for his music, which is minimalist. But Hendrik is well worth seeking out. His music is a little astringent at times, but basically tonal -- even things based on twelve-tone rows sound like they're in a key. Andriessen puts a lot of tunes in his pieces, most of them good ones.