Michel van der Aa

news

September 2018

Launch of doubleA Foundation and Lab

doubleA foundation logo

This summer saw Michel van der Aa launch a new artistic foundation dedicated to the development of innovative music theatre works with an international profile.

With Van der Aa as its Artistic Director, the doubleA Foundation aims to support the production and touring of new and existing works that stretch the boundaries of music theatre, opera, concerts, audiovisual exhibitions, digital art, multimedia and film.

At the forefront of the Foundation’s work is the doubleA Lab, which Van der Aa describes as ‘a unique laboratory for twenty-first-century music theatre’. Designed to develop and test new artistic technologies, the Lab will work with and develop new generations of artistic and technical partners, including dramatists, designers, stage managers, directors and VR specialists. With the help of Van der Aa’s diverse international network, young artists will be brought into contact with major international producers, opera houses and festivals to create new and significant work.

The Foundation launches with four new projects already in production and planned for presentation between 2019 and 2021. These are the virtual reality installation Eight – a collaboration with the singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke – and a forthcoming film opera; as well as a large-scale work of music theatre and a visual art collaboration.

The doubleA Lab is supported by the Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, and the Foundation itself works in close collaboration with the international classical music agency Intermusica, the production company ‘N More, and the publishers Boosey & Hawkes. Its business director is Rosita Wouda. More information about the Foundation and Lab may be found at doubleA.net.

September 2018

Featured composer at Trondheim Chamber Music Festival

Blank Out NYCMiah Persson, Roderick Williams

Later this month Michel van der Aa will be the featured composer at the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival in a major Scandinavian presentation of his work.

A total of nine pieces have been programmed at the festival, from Memo and Quadrivial to the concertos Up-Close and Hysteresis, and the 3D chamber opera Blank Out. All of them will be receiving their Norwegian premieres; among the featured soloists will be Kari Kriikku (clarinet, Hysteresis), Miah Persson (soprano, Blank Out), Fredrik Schøyen Sjølin (cello, Up-close) and Christianne Stotijn (mezzo-soprano, Spaces of Blank). 

Van der Aa will also deliver masterclasses and lectures on his music. The Trondheim Chamber Music Festival runs for a week from 24 September and tickets and more details may be found here: www.kamfest.no

April 2018

Van der Aa at centre of wide-ranging Spotlight series

Wende MichelWende & Michel van der Aa

‘Super kaleidoscopic’ is how Michel van der Aa describes a programme he has curated for the ensemble Nieuw Amsterdams Peil. Devised for the ensemble’s 2018 Spotlight series, it includes chamber works by Van der Aa, as well as by composers he is inspired by. Van der Aa himself will also play guitar (acoustic and electric) in three pieces.
The concerts include Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s mistily dramatic Luminance, from her ensemble work In the Light of Air; Dieter Ammann’s punchy Après le silence; and Anna Meredith’s Tuggemo, written for the Kronos Quartet and inspired by 80s pop synthesizers. Also featured is a world premiere by the young Dutch composer and intermedia artist Thomas Bensdorp, Private Geographies #1: The House of Breath.
Van der Aa’s music will be featured in three pieces of his: Dormant, a very early work here receiving its first performances; Transit, for piano and video; and the song cycle For the Time Being, the first movement of which will also be receiving its premiere. For the Time Being will be given in a new arrangement for the Dutch singer-songwriter Wende (Quand tu dors, Last Resistance), and she and Van der Aa will close the concerts with five new songs they have written together, on texts by Dimitri Verhulst, Fernando Pessoa and Raphaële Lanadère.
Nieuw Amsterdams Peil’s Spotlight series begins with a warm-up show on 18 April at the Schouwburg, Amstelveen, before touring eight more Dutch cities, beginning with the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Amsterdam on 19 April and finishing at the Haarlem Philharmonie on 1 May. More details and ticket information for the whole tour can be found on the Nieuw Amsterdams Peil website.

Tour schedule
18 April – Schouwburg Amstelveen, 20.30 hrs (public rehearsal)
19 April – Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, 20.15 hrs (premiere)
20 April – Nijmegen,Concertgebouw De Vereeniging, 20.15 hrs
21 April – Enschede Muziekcentrum,  20.00 hrs
22 April - Muziekgebouw Eindhoven,  14.15 hrs
25 April – Utrecht TivoliVredenburg,  20.15 hrs
26 April – Den Haag Korzo,  20.30 hrs
28 April – Groningen Grand Theatre,  20.30 hrs
01 May – Haarlem Stadsschouwburg,  20.15 hrs

April 2018

Press acclaim for US premieres

JanineCarnegie_13-03-2018Janine Jansen

Two major premieres in the USA last month have won widespread acclaim, continuing Van der Aa’s successful US season. On 8 March Janine Jansen gave the first US performance of the composer’s Violin Concerto, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, following this up with a second performance at Carnegie Hall five days later Meanwhile, in Texas, Dallas Opera presented the first US production of Sunken Garden on four nights between 9 and 17 March, with on-stage singers Roderick Williams, Katherine Manley and Miah Persson conducted by Nicole Paiement.
Both works were warmly received by the US press. Eric C. Simpson in the New York Classical Review called Jansen’s Carnegie Hall performance of the Violin Concerto ‘stunning’ and ‘riveting’. Describing the composer as ‘a consummate entertainer’, James R. Oestreich of the New York Times wrote that while the concerto was ‘less overtly theatrical’ than the operas The Book of Disquiet and Blank Out, it was ‘hardly less inventive musically’.
Of Sunken Garden, Monica Smart of the Dallas Observer wrote that ‘Van der Aa moved outside the boundaries of opera to create a fantasy world where the difficult questions of life cannot be escaped’. Scott Cantrell of the Dallas News praised all the singers, noting in particular the ‘radiant’ sopranos Manley and Persson, and the ‘warmth and clarity’ of Williams’ baritone. He further wrote that ‘Sunken Garden takes opera into new dimensions – literally.’

about

Michel van der Aa (Netherlands, 1970) is a truly multidisciplinary figure in contemporary music. A unique voice, he combines composition with film and stage direction, and script writing. Classical instruments, voices, electronic sound, actors, theatre and video are all seamless extensions of his musical vocabulary.

upcoming performances

  • 01 February 2019
    Memo
    Leslee Smucker, violin
    8pm, Centre for new music, San Francisco, U.S.A.
  • 30 March 2019
    Blank Out (Greek premiere)
    Katherine Manley, soprano
    Roderick Williams (film), Nederlands Kamerkoor (film)
    Megaron, Athens, Greece
  • 31 March 2019
    Blank Out
    Katherine Manley, soprano
    Roderick Williams (film), Nederlands Kamerkoor (film)
    Megaron, Athens, Greece

newsletter

instagram

  • blank pallet - ready for some nightly pathing! ⚡️
-
#cwejman #serge #eurorack #modularsynth blank pallet - ready for some nightly pathing! ⚡️ - #cwejman #serge #eurorack #modularsynth

Twitter

  • the thing with playing guitar through an epic looping delay is that the fuckups also haunt you for ever 05 July 2017
  • and here am I covering Klaus Maria Brandauer in paper boats https://t.co/WarKXl6POv 04 July 2017
  • preparing "The Book of Disquiet" for Lucerne Festival. Came across these 'making of’ photos.… https://t.co/f16zqUmda9 04 July 2017

recent video

Showreel 2018

Showreel 2018Excerpts of recent works
4:35 min.

recent audio

colophon

Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
Realisation Martijn ten Napel & Kyver
Latest update 06 December 2018