Michel van der Aa


March 2011

Up-close tours European concert halls

Up-Close - Sol GabettaSol Gabetta

Michel van der Aa’s Up-close combines cellist Sol Gabetta, string orchestra and film for a European tour (11-20 March)

Van der Aa has made waves with a series of cutting-edge cross-media works, and his newest score has been created for Argentinian-French cellist Sol Gabetta leading the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. The premiere tour of Up-close, commissioned by the European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO), travels to six countries in March. The 30-minute work is scored for solo cello, strings and film, and the forces are variable to suit either ensemble or orchestral strings.

Van der Aa’s compositions have often explored the interface between music and film – two media that equally play with time, and the new work is no exception. The live performance of cellist and strings interacts with a mirror reality on film, where an elderly lady is seen as an alter-ego of the soloist. Her memories reach back across 60 years to her childhood and the need to communicate coded messages via a mysterious machine. Sounds from the film escape from the screen and intertwine with the music on the concert platform until the two females are drawn ever closer.

A DVD of Up-close will be released on the Disquiet label in autumn 2011.


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

  • 19 April 2017
    The Tempest
    Polish National Ballet. Choreography by Krzysztof Pastor
    Dance Open Festival, St Petersburg, Russia
  • 13 May 2017
    Blank Out (German premiere)
    Katherine Manley, soprano
    Roderick Williams (film), Nederlands Kamerkoor (film)
    Orangerie Herrenhausen, Hannover, Germany
  • 17 June 2017
    Attach (Israel premiere)
    Israel contemporary players
    Ed Spanjaard, conductor
    9pm, Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel


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Violin Concerto (excerpt)

Violin concerto TNJanine Janssen, violin
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski
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Latest update 12 February 2017