Im Dialog mit dem Bild

Stefan Drees. August 2011

Van der Aa’s Konzeptionen begreifen bestimmte Arten des musikalischen Agierens und die daraus resultierenden visuellen Informationen mit ein und definieren sie als essenzielle Elemente einer künstlerischen Arbeit, die nicht bei der Musik haltmacht, sondern immer auch dem Sichtbaren eine tragende Rolle innerhalb des ästhetischen Diskurses zuweist und es somit als »an addition and stretching of my musical and compositional vocabulary« nutzt.’

Seiltanz. Language: German

Vermessung von Zeit und Erinnerung

Reinhard Brembeck. April 2011

Sol Gabetta spielt die Uraufführung von Michel van der Aas „Up-Close“ – und damit das erste ausschließlich für eine Frau komponierte Cellokonzert.
“Was finden wir im Leben wichtig? Wie blicken wir auf Ereignisse zurück?”

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Language: German

I am an art omnivore

Andrew Clements. April 2010

Michel van der Aa’s ‘After Life’ is another seamless hybrid of film and opera. Andrew Clements meets the ultimate multi-tasker.

The Guardian, Language: English

Freezing the Music and Fetishising the Subject

Jonathan W. Marshall. January 2010

Through Van der Aa’s use of technological doubles of the players and other performative devices, the artist dramatises the fragmentation of the human subject at the end of Modernism in music, culture and performance, producing a fetishistic rendering of the subject and his or her technological prostheses within the composer’s music and drama.

Soundscripts, Language: English

Introduction to the work of Michel van der Aa

Bas van Putten. August 2009

Sombre multi-voiced brass blocks vaporize in a stratosphere of high-frequency electronica and cool, soft strings; in the background, mechanical ‘clicks’ on the piano, harp and glockenspiel in their uppermost register transform the orchestra into a quasi-digital instrument. As ‘beautiful’ as it is, the music is clearly the product of an imagination that far surpasses the purely musical.

Boosey & Hakwes. Language: English


Press keys, no sound

Abi Bliss. November 2009

What do you do with a piano score that says “press keys, no sound”? Acclaimed pianist Sarah Nicolls and Michel van der Aa reveal all.

HCMF website. Language: English

Interview about The Book of Disquiet

David Allenby. October 2008

Michel van der Aa’s latest music theatre work, The Book of Disquiet, was premiered in Linz, starring Klaus Maria Brandauer. David Allenby talks to the composer.

Quarter Notes. Language: English


One of the most distinctive of the younger composers in Europe today. His ability to fuse music, text and visual images into a totally organic whole sets him apart from nearly all his contemporaries.
— The Guardian

Van der Aa, stage director and mastermind as well as composer, pushes the boundaries of all of his media. This is the Gesamtkunst of the future.
— Financial Times

One of the most original and consistent thinkers about music
— Berliner Zeitung

Unsettlingly stark shapes, shadows and silences, spliced with sudden moments of surrealism… His music had something to say, and said it with an incisive sense of drama.
— The Herald

Van der Aa’s music is dense, gritty and uncompromising
— The Australian

Cutting-edge European concert music…fresh, uncompromising and boundary expanding
— All Music Guide

Here is no avant-gardist who mercilessly frightens off his audience, no esoteric metaphysician, no gushing neo-Romantic. Instead, here we have a powerful seeker on a quest for the meaning of life who combines austere sounds with a preference for whip cracking rhythms and dense tonal atmosphere.
— Sueddeutsche Zeitung


Componisten van Babel

Componisten van Babelby Joep Christenhusz
Veelstemmigheid in de gecomponeerde muziek van nu in Nederland en Vlaanderen
ISBN 9789491444272

Studies in Musical Theatre

by Jelena Novak
Voices beyond corporeality: Towards the prosthetic body in opera
ISSN 17503159

A breach in the dike

Bookcover Dijkdoorbraakby Peter van Amstel
The promotion of Dutch Music abroad
(Dutch & English)
Gaudeamus / Donemus
ISBN / EAN: 978-90-812526-1-4

Contemporary music in The Netherlands and Vlaanderen

Bookcover Hedendaagse Muziekby Emile Wennekes & Mark Delaere
(Dutch, French, German, English, Spanish, Italian versions)
Ons Erfdeel
ISBN 90-75862-85-3

Radicaal gewoon

Bookcover Radicaal gewoonby Jacqueline Oskamp
Chapter in book: ‘Radicaal gewoon’ (Dutch)
The book portraits 10 Dutch composers and investigates if they there is a thing called ‘Dutch Music’.
ISBN 90-5330-372-3

Instituut Pro Arte

Bookcover ProarteMichel van der Aa’s music analized by Boris D. Filanovski
Chapter in book: ‘Pro Nederlandse muziek ’ (Russian)
Instituut Pro Arte
ISBN 5-93356-033-2