Keynote talk: Rebecca Saunders and Michel van der Aa

12 November 2021

New Music Conference will kick off with two inquisitive minds who will catch up for the first time in 16 years and who will reflect on composing, sound, art and life itself: Rebecca Saunders, November Music composer-in-focus, and Michel van der Aa, who is present at this year’s festival with his spectacular virtual reality installation Eight. In 2019, Saunders (London, 1967) became the first female composer to win the prestigious Ernst von Siemens music prize, putting her in line with names such as György Ligeti, Wolfgang Rihm and Mauricio Kagel. After the conference, Ensemble Modern will play a number of her larger ensemble works in Willem Twee Toonzaal. Like Rebecca Saunders, Michel van der Aa (Oss, 1970) has built an impressive repertoire that has been performed by notable ensembles worldwide. His sparkling, 15-minute VR-production Eight can be enjoyed – one visitor at the time – in the Matzer room in Verkadefabriek throughout the festival and during the conference. Van der Aa will introduce the work to his audience after the keynote talk.

Photo: installation Eight