Michel van der Aa


August 2012

Watery world premiere for 'And how are we today?'

Prinsengracht concertPrinsengrachtfestival

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.


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

  • 26 April 2018
    New work
    Wende Snijders, voice. Michel van der Aa, guitar
    Nieuw Amsterdams Peil
    Korzo Theater, Den Haag, Netherlands
  • 26 April 2018
    Nieuw Amsterdams Peil
    Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer, clarinet. Mick Stirling, cello. Michel van der Aa, guitar.
    Korzo Theater, Den Haag, Netherlands
  • 26 April 2018
    Gerard Bouwhuis, piano
    Korzo Theater, Den Haag, Netherlands



  • three performances down, six more to go 🔥❤
Tonight we play at the @wilminktheater in Enschede. Will you join us? 
@namspeil @wendesnijders #spotlight 📷 @ganzevoort three performances down, six more to go 🔥❤ Tonight we play at the @wilminktheater in Enschede. Will you join us? @namspeil @wendesnijders #spotlight 📷 @ganzevoort


  • 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


upclose TNSol Gabetta, cello. Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Candida Thompson
31:11 min.

recent audio


Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
Realisation Martijn ten Napel & Kyver
Latest update 25 April 2018