Michel van der Aa

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February 2018

US Premieres of Sunken Garden and Violin Concerto

Janine JansenJanine Jansen

March 8 kicks off a busy month for Michel van der Aa, who has two major works receiving US premieres: his 2014 Violin Concerto for Janine Jansen, being performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia and later at Carnegie Hall in New York; and his film-opera Sunken Garden, presented by the Dallas Opera.

Michel van der Aa’s 2017–2018 season (which kicked off with the hugely successful US premiere of Blank Out at the Park Avenue Armory) ramps up in March with US premieres of two major works. His Violin Concerto premieres on March 8 with Janine Jansen and the Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who also bring the work to Carnegie Hall on March 13 for its New York premiere. On March 9–17, the Dallas Opera presents the first US production of Van der Aa’s occult-mystery film-opera Sunken Garden.

Van der Aa’s Violin Concerto – championed by Jansen in cities around the world since its 2014 world premiere in Amsterdam with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – was described by Trouw as “a musical duel between the soloist and the orchestra with challenging music for both partners. The skill of Van der Aa’s writing and his musical approach is, in a word, ‘sensational,’ with an immediately recognizable personal style.” In a Playbill interview, Jansen described the Violin Concerto as “a very powerful and rhythmic piece” with “wonderfully lyrical moments.”

> Watch an excerpt of the Violin Concerto on the composer’s website
> More information about the Violin Concerto
> Event Page: March 8 at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia
> Event Page: March 13 at Carnegie Hall in New York

The US premiere of Van der Aa’s critically acclaimed film opera Sunken Garden at the Dallas Opera will feature singers Roderick Williams, Katherine Manley, and Miah Persson. They will be accompanied by the Dallas Opera Orchestra, conducted by Nicole Paiement.

Written with a libretto by British novelist David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas), Sunken Garden dives into a surreal world of crime and mystery that straddles two alternate realities. The opera features Van der Aa’s signature combination of live action and video projections using 3D imagery.

This will be a fully staged performance of the reimagined adaptation conceived for Opéra Lyon – more intimate and more physical – and premiered there in 2015. It follows previous performances of Sunken Garden at London’s Barbican Hall (2013) and the Holland Festival (2013), and semi-staged versions given last October at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Essen Philharmonie.

Performances take place on 9, 11, 14 and 17 March, and more details and booking can be found via Dallas Opera.

> Watch a trailer video for Sunken Garden
> More information about Sunken Garden
> More information about Dallas Opera’s production of Sunken Garden

Performances of both of these works continue what has been a successful US-focused season so far for Van der Aa. In November the short choral piece , a setting of excerpts from Tehillim chapter 5 and inspired by the plight of modern-day refugees, was given at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. And at the start of the season, in September, completed a sell-out run at New York’s Park Avenue Armory, and was described in The Wall Street Journal as “emotionally intense … disturbing and unforgettable.”

Sunken garden poster

about

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

  • 06 December 2018
    Transit
    Małgorzata Walentynowicz, piano
    7pm, old townhall, Gdansk, Poland
  • 01 February 2019
    Memo
    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

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  • Tonight the fabulous Helix! ensemble and Maureen Hurd (clarinet) will perform my clarinet concerto ‘Hysteresis’. 8pm, (le) Poisson Rouge (@lprnyc), New York Tonight the fabulous Helix! ensemble and Maureen Hurd (clarinet) will perform my clarinet concerto ‘Hysteresis’. 8pm, (le) Poisson Rouge (@lprnyc), New York

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  • 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

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Showreel 2018

Showreel 2018Excerpts of recent works
4:35 min.

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colophon

Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
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Latest update 04 November 2018