And how are we today?


Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht canal on the 18 August will see the first performance of a new vocal work by Michel van der Aa. A setting of a poem by the British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, And how are we today? is a new commission for the Amsterdam Prinsengrachtconcert.

The Prinsengrachtconcert is a famous event with a long tradition in Amsterdam, and yet this will be the first it has featured a new composition. The finale of the annual Grachtenfestival (canal festival) of classical music, the concert is staged on a floating platform in the middle of the canal. An audience of thousands watch from the banks and bridges, or bring their boats up to the stage itself. The concert is also broadcast live on TV and radio, and is the most watched classical music broadcast on Dutch TV.

Written for the mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, double bass player Rick Stotijn and pianist Joseph Breinl, Van der Aa describes And how are we today? as “a high energy, jazzy work with a theatrical layer and a virtuoso double bass part”, appropriate to its festive setting.


for mezzo-soprano, piano and double bass

double bass


Duration 5'
First performance 18 August 2012, Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano. Joseph Breinl, piano. Rick Stotijn, double-bass
Commissioned by AVRO, Prinsengracht concert
Published by Boosey & Hawkes


And how are we today?

Christianne & Rick Stotijn, Joseph Breinl. Prinsengrachtconcert 2012
4:30 min.


Last performance:

  • 05 July 2020
    Claire Booth / Alina Ibragimova / Rick Stotjin / Zoltán Fejérvári
    West Cork Chamber Music Festival
    8pm, Bantry House, Cork, Ireland