Composer Louis Andriessen (81) suffers from dementia, his wife Monica Germino tells

NRC.

He has been living in a care institution since March, where he improvises daily on the wing in the communal area.

In January Andriessen's situation suddenly deteriorated rapidly.

He was found to have a combination of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.

"It has never been a secret that Louis is ill, but how and when do you say such a thing?" Germino said in the newspaper.

"I hope openness helps. Dementia is a cruel disease that affects many people. We need to be able to talk about it."

Germino says that things are going well with Andriessen under the circumstances.

"He's happy, unbelievable but true."

Composing is no longer possible, says Germino.

Andriessen's last work is

May

for choir and orchestra, based on fragments from Herman Gorter's poem

Mei.

The premiere of

May

seemed to Germino the right time to come out with Andriessen's disease.

On Saturday the work, performed by the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Cappella Amsterdam, will premiere in the Concertgebouw.

The performance can be seen live on the NPO Radio 4 website.