Michel van der Aa


December 2004

Matthijs Vermeulen Price for One

OneBarbara Hannigan in One

Michel van der Aa has received the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize 2004 for his chamber opera One. The prestigious Dutch composition prize, which amounts to EUR 7,500, is awarded every year for a significant new musical work.

One, composed in 2002 for soprano, video and sound track, was premiered on 12 January 2003 by Barbara Hannigan in the Amsterdam Frascati Theatre and has since been performed in various cities across the Netherlands and at festivals in Zagreb, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, Cracow, Oslo and Budapest. As in van der Aa’s other works, the subject matter is the confrontation with, and alienation of, one’s own existence. Projected images and electronic sounds add emphasis to the stage performance of the protagonist, while recorded tracks and live elements play against each other in virtuoso fashion.

The Matthijs Vermeulen Prize was given to Michel van der Aa on 10 December 2004 in the Utrecht music centre ‘Vredenburg’. To mark the occasion, the violinist Maaike Aarts performed his composition Memo (2003) for violin and portable cassette player.


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

  • 04 November 2018
    Helix! ensemble
    Maureen Hurd Hause, clarinet
    Le Poisson Rouge, New York, U.S.A.
  • 01 February 2019
    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



  • Art-omnivore @wendesnijders curated a super exciting kaleidoscopic evening yesterday at @theatercarre, wonderful to be part of it! ❤️⚡️ Photo: @Photos.by.annemarie Art-omnivore @wendesnijders curated a super exciting kaleidoscopic evening yesterday at @theatercarre, wonderful to be part of it! ❤️⚡️ Photo: @Photos.by.annemarie


  • 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


Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
Realisation Martijn ten Napel & Kyver
Latest update 14 October 2018