Maya Verlaak is a Belgian composer who is also active as a performer, curator, teacher and publisher. Her compositions often focus on how she can analyse a given context (such as place, musician, instrument, etiquette or conventions) as a way of creating and structuring material for new works. Maintaining a critical distance is an important attitude in her work, which allows room for reflection, analysis and humour. The results of her working method are enormously varied: compositions in which insight into the composition and communication between the musicians is central; performances in which the audience is central; and self-built instruments and installations with computer programmed or analogue electronics to name a few.
Verlaak’s works have been commissioned and performed by diverse ensembles and musicians such as the New European Ensemble, Ensemble Interface, Ensemble Klang, London Sinfonietta, Apartment House, Piano+, Acid Police Noise Ensemble, ACM ensemble, An Assembly, IEMA – Ensemble Modern, Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, ensemble x.y and many others. A selection of solo commissions include work for Leo Svirsky (piano), Robert de Bree (recorder), Karin de Fleyt (flute), Philip Thomas (piano) and Sarah Saviet (violin).
Verlaak is a founding member of Acid Police Noise Ensemble and Post-Paradise Series. She is also member of iii (instrument inventors initiative) which is based in The Hague. She studied composition at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague and in 2019 was awarded a PhD from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She has taught composition at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam since 2018.