Peter van Anrooy

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Peter van Anrooy
Peter van Anrooy 1917b.jpg
Peter van Anrooy ca. 1917
Born13 October 1879
Zaltbommel, the Netherlands
Died31 December 1954 (aged 75)
's-Gravenhage, the Netherlands

Peter Gijsbert van Anrooij, better known as Peter van Anrooy (13 October 1879 – 31 December 1954), was a Dutch composer and conductor of classical music.


Van Anrooy was born in Zaltbommel to Peter Gijsbert van Anrooij, an apothecary, and Jozefa Helena Maria Pool. The family soon moved to Utrecht, where van Anrooy learned piano, violin and composition in a music school (1890–1899). Then for two years he studied conducting in Dresden and Moscow; in Moscow he also received lessons in counterpoint from Sergei Taneyev. After completing his studies, van Anrooy played violin with orchestras in Glasgow and Zurich and by 1905 returned to the Netherlands, where around 1905 he assumed positions of conductor with the Groningen Orchestra and director of a music school. In Groningen he received an honorary PhD title in 1914. Van Anrooy continued conducting with various Dutch orchestra until 1940. While his early work mostly focused on classics such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Mahler and Strauss, he later paid more attention to modern Dutch composers. He also composed himself, starting from a piano piece Mars voor piano vierhandig in 1891 and ending with variations on Dutch melodies in 1937. His most known composition is Piet Hein Rhapsodie voor symfonieorkest, which was based on the Dutch song De Zilvervloot (Spanish treasure fleet) by J.J. Viotta en J.P. Heije. After World War II, between 1947 and 1954 he broadcast a weekly educational radio program at AVRO on understanding classical music.[1][2]

Van Anrooy had a strong character and was active politically. In 1933 he signed a document Bruinboek van de Hitler-terreur en de Rijksdagbrand (lit. Brown book of Hilter terror and the Reichstag fire) and in 1937 refused to conduct the Nazi song Horst-Wessel-Lied at the marriage of Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld and Juliana of the Netherlands. As a result, his music was banned during the war.[1]

On 29 November 1906 van Anrooy married Frederique Johanna Adolphina de l'Espinasse; they had two daughters.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c C.A.M. Gietman et al. (eds.) (2002) "Peter van Anrooy 1879–1954, Dirigent en Componist". in Biografisch Woordenboek Gelderland, deel 3, Bekende en onbekende mannen en vrouwen uit de Gelderse geschiedenis. Verloren Hilversum, pp. 14–17.
  2. ^ a b W.H. Thijsse, "Anrooij, Peter Gijsbert van (1879–1954)", in Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland