"Do you recognize van der Aa if he’s composing unplugged? Straight away! Sharp cutting sounds interrupt the brittle cantilena presented by the soloist accompanied by harp and winds. There’s a built-in nervous energy... The third movement is a virtuoso showpiece for Jansen and the percussion section, an area where van der Aa’s writing excels."
"It’s a real concerto; a musical duel between the soloist and the orchestra with challenging music for both partners. The skill of van der Aa’s writing and his musical approach is in a word ‘sensational’ with an immediately recognizable personal style."
Broad Street Review
“Here’s one way to describe Michel van der Aa’s Violin Concerto, which received its North American premiere this weekend: utterly captivating. Violinist Janine Jansen joined Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of a thought-provoking work that’s breathtaking in scope and enjoyable on every level.”
New York Classical Review
“remarkable … van der Aa writes with purpose. His music is angular, but not self-consciously so; its sharp edges and spiny tonality excite rather than feeling like ostentatious gesture.”
New York Times
“The orchestra is less an accompanist or combatant than a full collaborator in a kind of shifting synergy — now taking its cues and motivic material from the soloist, now driving the soloist to greater heights of passionate expression.”
“a scintillating work”
“Delight, virtuosic glee and demonic radiance.”