Elena Mendoza

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Elena Mendoza (Sevilla, 1973) is a Spanish composer of contemporary music and musical theatre.

Musical theatre work that combines songs, music, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

Life and works

She was born in Seville in 1973, where she studied German linguistics. She then studied piano and composition in Zaragoza with Teresa Catalán, in Augsburg with John Van Buren, in Düsseldorf with Manfred Trojahn and in Berlin with Hanspeter Kyburz at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. After finishing studies she was a fellow at different institutions, like Ensemble Modern Akademie in Frankfurt a.M., among others. Currently she lives and works in Berlin.

Seville Place in Andalusia, Spain

Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain. It is situated on the plain of the river Guadalquivir. The inhabitants of the city are known as sevillanos or hispalenses, after the Roman name of the city, Hispalis. Seville has a municipal population of about 690,000 as of 2016, and a metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain and the 30th most populous municipality in the European Union. Its Old Town, with an area of 4 square kilometres (2 sq mi), contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. The Seville harbour, located about 80 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain. Seville is also the hottest major metropolitan area in the geographical Southwestern Europe, with summer average high temperatures of above 35 °C (95 °F).

Manfred Trojahn is a German composer, flutist, conductor and writer.

Hanspeter Kyburz is a contemporary Swiss composer of classical music, known for applying electronic music techniques to his productions.

She is particularly interested in timbrical and dramaturgical questions and has particular preferences for theatrical concepts touching on language, space and music. From these emerged in 2007 the music-theater production Niebla (Europäisches Zentrum der Künste in Dresden Hellerau), written in close cooperation with the director Matthias Rebstock and setting new music-theatre standards. Currently she's preparing a new work for the stage together with the same art director: La ciudad de las mentiras, based on texts by Juan Carlos Onetti, on behalf of Gerard Mortier for the Teatro Real Madrid.

She has worked in collaboration with ensemble recherche, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble emex, Ensemble Taller Sonoro, Ensemble Ascolta, KNM Berlin, Ensemble espai sonor, Vogler-Quartett, Oper Nürnberg, Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg and many others.

Her music has been presented at several international festivals, such as Ars Musica Brussels, Eclat Stuttgart, Maerzmusik Berlin, Dresdner Tage der Zeitgenössischer Musik, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Ultraschall Berlin, World New Music Festival, Acanthes Metz, Nous Sons Barcelona, Steirischer Herbst Graz, Musica Viva München or musicadhoy Madrid. She has won several important awards, such as a fellowship at the Academy Schloß Solitude (2008), the Musikpreis Salzburg 2011 (Förderungspreis) or the Spanish Premio Nacional de Música 2010.

The Salzburg Music Prize was an international composition prize awarded by the state government of Salzburg. The total prize money was €80,000. The prize was first awarded in the Mozart Year 2006. The award honours the life work of one of the outstanding composers of our time. From the second time in 2009, it was awarded biennially.

Elena Mendoza works to spread the understanding of recent musical languages using (for example) procedures of analysis by listening and offering composition-workshops. She is a professor for composition at the Universität der Künste Berlin.

A portrait CD with chamber music has been published in 2008 by the label Kairos (Vienna), in collaboration with musicadhoy (Madrid) and Deutschlandradio Kultur (Berlin). Besides, a CD with scenes from Niebla and other vocal chamber music pieces been published by Wergo, Deutschlandradio Kultur and Deutscher Musikrat in 2011.

The Deutscher Musikrat is an NGO umbrella organization, based in Bonn, for music associations and the 16 music councils of the German federal states. It represents over 14 million music-loving citizens who, for professional reasons or as amateurs, are affiliated with the Musikrat and its member organizations. With more than 100 member associations, institutions and numerous personalities from the world of music, it acts, together with its projects and support measures, as an advisor and competence centre for politics and civil society.

From 2009 on her scores are published by Edition Peters.


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