Michel van der Aa


April 2019

World premiere 'akin': double concerto for twinned strings

Akin, the new double concerto by Michel van der Aa for violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and cellist Sol Gabetta, receives first performances in Cologne and Amsterdam in May.

 Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and cellist Sol Gabetta are soloists in Michel van der Aa’s new double concerto, Akin, premiered at the EIGHT BRIDGES festival in Cologne by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on 9 May. The 25-minute work was commissioned by ACHT BRÜCKEN/Musik für Koln and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with funds from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and Fonds Podiumkunsten.

After the premiere at the Philharmonie in Cologne, the concerto travels on with soloists, orchestra and conductor Peter Eötvös for its Dutch premiere at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on 10 May. North American performances follow with the Vancouver Symphony on 7 June and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa in March 2020.

Michel van der Aa has worked with both soloists on earlier projects – Patricia Kopatchinskaja on the violin work Double and Sol Gabetta on his Grawemeyer Award-winning cello concerto with film Up-close. As the composer notes: Akin was inspired by the friendship between these two very special string players, reflected in the score through their sharing of the same musical material and communication with a similar voice. When I was deciding on a title I was drawn to an image of identical twins, inseparable and thinking in a related manner to all outward appearances but perhaps with different personalities beneath.”
— David Allenby/Boosey & Hawkes Quarternotes


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 June 2019
    Eight (world premiere)
    Virtual Reality installation. Kate Miller-Heidke, Nederlands Kamerkoor
    Runs from 4-23 June.
    Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, BAM zaal, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 07 June 2019
    akin (North American premiere)
    Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
    Otto Tausk, conductor
    Nicholas Wright, violin. Harriet Krijgh, cello
    Orpheum, Vancouver, Canada
  • 08 June 2019
    Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
    Otto Tausk, conductor
    Nicholas Wright, violin. Harriet Krijgh, cello
    Orpheum, Vancouver, Canada



  • ‪beta testing ‘Eight’! ‬
‪premiere on 4 June @hollandfestival ‬ ‪https://eightvr.net‬ ‪beta testing ‘Eight’! ‬ ‪premiere on 4 June @hollandfestival ‬ ‪https://eightvr.net‬

recent video

Eight - teaser

eightvirtual reality installation ft. Kate Miller-Heidke
1:22 min.

recent audio


Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
Realisation Martijn ten Napel & Kyver
Latest update 17 May 2019