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Michael Van Der Sloot: Biography

Michael Van Der Sloot
1991 -
Region: Prairie

Michael Van Der Sloot

Michael van der Sloot (b. 1991; Medicine Hat, AB) grew up in the Canadian prairies, the eldest son in a very musical family. He has recently written works for the Meadows Wind Ensemble, Calgary Youth Orchestra, violinist Matthew Albert (formerly of eighth blackbird), violist Nadia Sirota, the Northwestern University Cello Ensemble, and the Altius String Quartet, among others. He has studied at Southern Methodist University (B.M. ’13), Northwestern University (M.M. ’15), and the Mount Royal University Conservatory where he received his pre-college training. In addition to his composition, van der Sloot is an accomplished cellist, having played with iconic figures such as Lynn Harrell, Anton Kuerti, Ian Swensen, Andrés and Roberto Díaz, Raphael Wallfisch, and eighth blackbird, and has performed as a soloist with multiple orchestras. His former ensemble, the Mahewa String Quartet, won the grand prize for chamber music in the 2008 Canadian Music Competition. His teachers include cellists John Kadz, Andrés Díaz, and Hans Jørgen Jensen; and composers Xi Wang, Simon A. Sargon, and Jay Alan Yim. He has participated in workshops and masterclasses at Morningside Music Bridge, the Banff Music Festival, and National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute. As an advocate for performer-centric music, his compositions reflect his dual experience as a performer and composer and often explore this relationship. When he’s not involved with musical pursuits, van der Sloot enjoys other interests, which include cooking, hockey, hiking, and spending as much time as possible in the Rocky Mountains.