Review: Van der Aa’s “Up-close” by Los Angeles Philharmonic

Posted on: January 30, 2014

“A screen for film or video projection has become a common occurrence at concerts, multimedia being a way of 21st century musical life,” writes Mark Swed in Thursday’s (1/30) Los Angeles Times. “A floor lamp on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday night … served as a symbol of the uncanny in the West Coast premiere of Michel van der Aa’s ‘Up-close’ ” by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and cellist Johannes Moser, conducted by Brad Lubman. “This half-hour concerto for cello, chamber string orchestra, electronics and film, all by the 43-year-old Dutch composer, is a trek out of the chamber and into a new corner of virtual reality. The cello soloist is haunted by a film, in which a woman played by Dutch actress Vakil Eelman is on a stage just like the one the live musicians are on. … ‘Up-close’ has caught on—it won last year’s coveted $100,000 Grawemeyer Award.” In Tuesday’s (1/28) Los Angeles Times, Reed Johnson writes that though Van der Aa “isn’t the first composer or visual artist to integrate live classical music with film … many critics agree that Van der Aa’s works unite these elements into groundbreaking hybrids.”

Posted January 30, 2014