updated 2 November 2021
© Marco Borggreve

Michel van der Aa

Dutch composer born 10 March 1970 in Oss, Netherlands.

Michel van der Aa is a multidisciplinary composer who began his career as a recording engineer at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. He studied classical guitar under Antonio Pereira Arias and composition with Diderik Wagenaar, Gilius van Bergeijk, and Louis Andriessen.

In 2002, having already written some twenty pieces, he journeyed to New York to study film directing at the New York Film Academy, continuing his work in the performing arts with a course in stage direction with the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab. Enriched by this training, he began creating musical theater pieces for which he acted as composer, video producer, and director. This is the case with The Book of Disquiet (2008) but also with the operatic triptych composed of After Life (2006), Sunken Garden (2013) and Upload (2020), where the film occupies a primary place. The latter explores the science-fiction theme of mind uploading, invested as early as 1956 by Arthur C. Clarke. Michel van der Aa has also written music for dance performances (Solitaire, Faust, Staring at the Space) and makes extensive use of electronics.

In 2010, he launched the label Disquiet Media, and two years later founded Disquiet TV, an online virtual auditorium to showcase contemporary music.

His compositions have been performed by ensembles, orchestras, and soloists around the world, including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Musikfabrik, Tokyo Sinfonietta, the Ensemble Modern, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Chamber Players, the SWR Baden-Baden Freiburg Symphony Orchestra, the ASKO|Schoenberg ensemble, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, cellist Sol Gabetta, soprano Barbara Hannigan, violinist Janine Jansen, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, baritone Roderick Williams, and, on a different note, the Portuguese Fado singer Ana Moura.

His work has been featured at the Berliner Festpiele, the Venice Biennale, the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Gaudeamus Music Week, the Opéra de Lyon, the Huddersfield Festival, Warsaw Autumn, the Festival d’Automne in Paris, the LA Philharmonic New Music Series, the Lucerne Festival, the Tokyo Suntory Summer Music Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Moscow Music Week, and the Oslo Ultima Festival.

His works are published by Boosey & Hawkes.

Awards, Grants, and Prizes

  • 1994: Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten grant
  • 1999: International Gaudeamus Prize
  • 2004: Matthijs Vermeulen Prize for One
  • 2005: Ernst von Siemens Composers’ Prize (Förderpreis)
  • 2005: Charlotte Köhler Prize (theater)
  • 2006: Hindemith Prize
  • 2013: Mauricio Kagel Prize
  • 2013: Grawemeyer Prize for Up-close ;
  • 2015: Johannes Vermeer Award.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2014

  • Solo (excluding voice)
    • elec Auburn for guitar and electronics (1994), 10 mn, Donemus
    • elec Oog for cello and electronics (1995), 10 mn, Donemus
    • Solo for percussion (1997), 9 mn, Donemus
    • Caprice for violin (1999), 4 mn, Donemus
    • elec Just before for piano and electronics (2000), 11 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Memo for violin and portable tape recorder (2003), 9 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Solitaire for violin and electronics (2003), 15 mn
    • elec Rekindle for flute and electronics (2009), 8 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Transit for piano and video projection (2009), 12 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • Chamber music
    • elec Between for percussion quartet and electronics (1997), 17 mn, Donemus
    • Double for violin and piano (1997), 8 mn, Donemus
    • Quadrivial for flute, violin, cello and piano (1997), 8 mn, Donemus
    • Wake for percussion duo (1997), 8 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • Inside someone else’s head for violin and double bass (2017), 3 mn 30 s, Boosey & Hawkes
  • Instrumental ensemble music
    • elec Span for ensemble and electronics (1996), 10 mn
    • stage Staring at the Space for chamber orchestra (1995-1996), 1 h 10 mn
    • elec stage Faust for ensemble and electronics (1998), 1 h 30 mn, Inédit
    • elec Above for ensemble and electronics (1999), 17 mn, Donemus
    • elec Attach for ensemble and electronics (1999-2000), 17 mn, Donemus
    • See-through for orchestra (2000), 12 mn, Donemus
    • elec Here [enclosed] for chamber orchestra and electronics (2003), 17 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Second Self for orchestra and electronics (2004), 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • Imprint for baroque orchestra (2005), 14 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Mask for ensemble and electronics (2006), 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • stage Reversal for orchestra (2016), 10 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Shades of red for ensemble and soundtrack (2020), 11 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • Concert music
    • elec Up-close for cello, string ensemble and film (2010), 30 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Hysteresis for solo clarinet, ensemble and electronics (2013), 17 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • Concerto for violin (2014), Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Double concerto for violin, cello, orchestra and tape (2018), 20 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • akin for violin, cello and orchestra (2018-2019), 25 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
    • elec stage Now [in fragments] for soprano, clarinet, cello and electronics (1995), 30 mn
    • elec The New Math(s) film music for soprano, three instruments and electronics (2000), 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Here [to be found] for soprano, chamber orchestra and electronics (2001), 18 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Vuur for ensemble and electronics (2001), 1 h 30 mn
    • elec Here [in circles] for soprano and ensemble (2002), 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Here Trilogy for soprano and ensemble (2001-2003), 50 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage After Life opera for six singers, ensemble, video and electronics (2005-2006, 2009), 1 h 40 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Spaces of Blank for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and electronics (2007), 26 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage The Book of Disquiet musical theater for actor, ensemble and film (2008), 1 h 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • And how are we today ? for mezzo-soprano, piano and double bass (2012), 5 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • Miles away for mezzo-soprano, violin, piano and double bass (2012), 7 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Sunken Garden 3D opera film (2011-2013), 1 h 50 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • For the time being for mezzo-soprano, piano, violin and double bass (2012-2017), 16 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Upload film opera (2019-2020), 1 h 25 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • A cappella vocal music
    • elec stage One chamber opera for soprano, video and electronics (2002), 60 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Blank Out chamber opera for soprano, electronics and 3D film (2015), 1 h 10 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • Shelter for choir (2017), 4 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • Electronic music / fixed media / mechanical musical instruments
  • 2020
    • elec Shades of red for ensemble and soundtrack, 11 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Upload film opera, 1 h 25 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2019
    • akin for violin, cello and orchestra, 25 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2018
    • elec Double concerto for violin, cello, orchestra and tape, 20 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2017
  • 2016
    • stage Reversal for orchestra, 10 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2015
    • elec stage Blank Out chamber opera for soprano, electronics and 3D film, 1 h 10 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2014
  • 2013
    • elec Hysteresis for solo clarinet, ensemble and electronics, 17 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Sunken Garden 3D opera film, 1 h 50 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2012
    • And how are we today ? for mezzo-soprano, piano and double bass, 5 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • Miles away for mezzo-soprano, violin, piano and double bass, 7 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2010
    • elec Up-close for cello, string ensemble and film, 30 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2009
    • elec Rekindle for flute and electronics, 8 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Transit for piano and video projection, 12 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2008
    • elec stage The Book of Disquiet musical theater for actor, ensemble and film, 1 h 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2007
    • elec Spaces of Blank for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and electronics, 26 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2006
    • elec stage After Life opera for six singers, ensemble, video and electronics, 1 h 40 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Mask for ensemble and electronics, 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2005
    • Imprint for baroque orchestra, 14 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2004
    • elec Second Self for orchestra and electronics, 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2003
    • elec Here Trilogy for soprano and ensemble, 50 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Here [enclosed] for chamber orchestra and electronics, 17 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec Memo for violin and portable tape recorder, 9 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Solitaire for violin and electronics, 15 mn
  • 2002
    • elec Here [in circles] for soprano and ensemble, 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage One chamber opera for soprano, video and electronics, 60 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 2001
    • elec Here [to be found] for soprano, chamber orchestra and electronics, 18 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • elec stage Vuur for ensemble and electronics, 1 h 30 mn
  • 2000
    • elec Attach for ensemble and electronics, 17 mn, Donemus
    • elec Just before for piano and electronics, 11 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
    • See-through for orchestra, 12 mn, Donemus
    • elec The New Math(s) film music for soprano, three instruments and electronics, 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 1999
    • elec Above for ensemble and electronics, 17 mn, Donemus
    • Caprice for violin, 4 mn, Donemus
    • elec stage Writing to Vermeer for electronics, 15 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 1998
    • elec stage Faust for ensemble and electronics, 1 h 30 mn, Inédit
  • 1997
    • elec Between for percussion quartet and electronics, 17 mn, Donemus
    • Double for violin and piano, 8 mn, Donemus
    • Quadrivial for flute, violin, cello and piano, 8 mn, Donemus
    • Solo for percussion, 9 mn, Donemus
    • Wake for percussion duo, 8 mn, Boosey & Hawkes
  • 1996
  • 1995
    • elec stage Now [in fragments] for soprano, clarinet, cello and electronics, 30 mn
    • elec Oog for cello and electronics, 10 mn, Donemus
  • 1994
    • elec Auburn for guitar and electronics, 10 mn, Donemus

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en octobre 2021).

Bibliographie

Discographie

  • Michel van der AA, Kate MILLER-HEIDKE, Mirrors at night ; Queen of the night ; What a dream ; I think of fire ; Identical hands ; Let me go ; Crimson labyrinth ; Asterion ; 19th step ; The Aleph ; Asterion (a capella), dans « Time Falling », 1 CD Disquiet Media, 2020, DQM 07.
  • Michel van der AA, « Violin Concerto / Hysteresis », 1 CD Disquiet Media, 2016, DQM 05.
  • Michel van der AA, Up-close, Sol Gabetta : violoncelle, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Candida Thompson, Vakil Eelman, 1 DVD Disquiet, 2011.
  • Michel van der AA, One, Barbara Hannigan : soprano, 1 DVD Disquiet, 2011.
  • Michel van der AA, Here Trilogy, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, direction : Peter Eötvös, Etienne Siebens, Claron McFadden : soprano, 1 Cd Disquiet, 2010.
  • Michel van der AA, Spaces of Blank ; Mask ; Imprint, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, direction : Ed Spanjaard, Christianne Stotijn : mezzo soprano, Asko|Schönberg, direction : Otto Tausk, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, 1 Cd Disquiet, 2010.
  • Michel van der AA, AboveBetweenAttachJust BeforeAuburnOog, Ives Ensemble, Percussion Group The Hague, Schoenberg Ensemble, Tomoko Mukaiyama, Reinhold Westerheide, Justa de Jong, 1 Cd Composers’ Voice CV119, 2004.