Son of the composer Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981).
After his study at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, Andriessen studied for two years with Luciano Berio.
Andriessen's music is influenced by the multi-faced Igor Stravinsky. Centre in his music are harmony, melody and rhythm. Instrumentation takes second place.
Louis Andriessen cooperated with cineast Peter Greenaway on the opera's Rosa (1994) and Writing to Vermeer (1998).