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Michel van der Aa is one of the most outstanding Dutch composers of his generation * has attracted attention above all for his imaginative music theatre works * music has expressive power and an idiomatic sense for the stage, combining sounds and scenic images in a play of changing perspectives * recent stage works show a successful involvement as a film and stage director as well as composer * after training as music recording engineer at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, studied composition with Diderik Wagenaar, Gilius van Bergeijk and Louis Andriessen * turned from constructivism of the ‘Hague school’ to a personal, more poetic and transparent style * completed a course in film directing at the New York Film Academy, and collaborated with film makers Peter Greenaway and Hal Hartley, and with choreographers including Philippe Blanchard * participated in the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab, an intensive course in stage direction, in 2007 * is programmed at leading international festivals for contemporary music in London, Huddersfield, Berlin, Donaueschingen, Paris, Warsaw, Los Angeles, Lucerne, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Brussels, Venice, Tokyo, Oslo, Budapest, Moscow, Zagreb and Perth * works played by renowned artists including conductors Peter Eötvös, Reinbert de Leeuw, Etienne Siebens, Ed Spanjaard, Roland Kluttig and ensembles like the Schönberg and Asko Ensemble, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Hilversum Radio Philharmonic, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Avanti!, musikFabrik and the Netherlands Opera * awarded the Gaudeamus Prize (1999), the Vermeulen Prize (2004), a Siemens Grant (2005), the Charlotte Köhler Prize (2005), the Hindemith Prize (2006), the Kagel Prize (2013), the Grawemeyer Award for Up-close (2013) and the Johannes Vermeer Award (2015) * recordings on the Col Legno, Harmonia Mundi, Composer’s Voice, BVHaast, X-OR and VPRO Eigenwijs labels * 'house composer' with the Concertgebouw Orchestra since 2011

Works by Michel van der Aa include:
Blank Out (2015) Chamber opera for soprano and 3D film
Sunken Garden (2011–13) 3D film opera
Up-close (2010) for solo cello, string ensemble and film
Here Trilogy (2001–03) for soprano, chamber orchestra and soundtrack

Looking Ahead: South Korean premiere of The Book of Water at Tongyeong International Music Festival (4/5 Apr); performances of Blank Out with Miah Persson in Berkeley (28/29 Apr) and Amsterdam (28 May)

"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." — Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Also visit the Michel van der Aa website at www.vanderaa.net

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