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29 October 2021

“Eight” at November Music

From 6-13 November, Michel van der Aa’s virtual-reality installation Eight will be presented as part of the November Music festival in the southern Dutch city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. This spectacular fifteen-minute installation is experienced by one visitor at a time in the Verkadefabriek venue.

Eight premiered to critical acclaim at the 2019 Holland Festival. The Dutch newspaper NRC called it ‘an important work’ and ‘an unforgettable experience’ and The New York Times described it as ‘a breakthrough for virtual reality in classical music’. The protagonist in this ‘chamber-pop’ performance is Australian singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke. She’s joined by Livia Kolk and Vakil Eelman and the Netherlands Chamber Choir, conducted by Boudewijn Jansen.

More information about Eight (in Dutch) and to book a time slot:

Dutch premiere of “Upload” a resounding success

Following the world premiere this summer in Bregenz, Van der Aa’s opera Upload had its Netherlands premiere at the Dutch National Opera in October. The five performances garnished some very fine reviews. The New York Times called it ‘a masterly weaving of music, film and motion-capture technology’ and according to Holland’s Parool it was ‘a production that everyone must see’. The press was also enthusiastic about the performers: baritone Roderick Williams and soprano Julia Bullock, ensemble Musikfabrik and conductor Otto Tausk, as well as actors Katja Herbers, Ashley Zukerman, Esther Mugambi, Samuel West and Claron McFadden.
The next performances of Upload will be in spring of 2022 at Park Avenue Armory in New York and at Opera Cologne.

★★★★★ ‘Highly original […] Fantastic music’ – NRC
★★★★★ ‘Unimaginably stunning beauty’ – Trouw
★★★★★ ‘I have seldom experienced opera more intimately’ – Bachtrack

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Featured works


Film opera (2019-2020)


Virtual reality installation (2018-2019)

Violin Concerto

for solo violin and orchestra (2014)

Blank Out

chamber opera (2015-2016)


for solo cello, string ensemble and film (2010)


for solo clarinet, ensemble and soundtrack (2013)

Michel van der Aa 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.

Read full biography


16 February 2022


Premiere of ensemble version
Insomnio, conducted by Ulrich Pöhl
Mieko Kanno violin, Charles Watt, cello

TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands
17 February 2022


Ensemble version
Insomnio, conducted by Ulrich Pöhl
Mieko Kanno violin, Charles Watt, cello

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands
8 March 2022

Violin Concerto (Japanese premiere)

Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kazuki Yamada. Simone Lamsma, violin

Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan

All performances