updated 4 July 2022
© Noel Tovia Matoff

Elena Mendoza

Spanish composer born in 1973 in Seville.

Elena Mendoza studied German linguistics in Seville. 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 at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, with Hanspeter Kyburz. Since her studies, she has received numerous scholarships from different institutions, such as the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie in Frankfurt am Main, among others.

Mendoza is particularly interested in questions of timbre and dramaturgy, as well as in theatrical concepts of language, space, and music. The music theater pieces Niebla (2009), La Ciudad de las Mentiras (2011-2014), and Der Fall Babel (2017-2019) written in close collaboration with director Matthias Rebstock, set new standards in music theater: music and acting react to each other like parts of a machine in continuous fluid motion.

Mendoza’s work is also influenced by philosophy, especially by the Spanish humanismo movement, which considers humans as complex individuals with both rational and irrational behaviors and thoughts.

Most of her works are chamber music pieces, but she also composes for orchestra. Electronics are usually reserved for her musical theater pieces. She also integrates everyday objects into some of her compositions. Her pieces are generally short, and the longer works are usually divided into short movements.

Her works have been performed by ensemble recherche, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Schola Heidelberg, ensemble mosaik, E-MEX-Ensemble, Ensemble Taller Sonoro, Ensemble Ascolta, KNM Berlin, Ensemble Espai Sonor, Vogler Quartet, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Oper Nürnberg, Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, and many others.

Her music has been performed at several international festivals, such as Ars Musica in Brussels, ECLAT Stuttgart, MaerzMusik Berlin, Dresdner Tage der Zeitgenössischer Musik, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Ultraschall in Berlin, ISCM World New Music Festival, Acanthes in Metz, Nous Sons in Barcelona, Steirischer Herbst in Graz, musica viva in Munich, and musicadhoy in Madrid. She also won several important awards, including the Academie Schloss Solitude scholarship (2008), the Salzburg Music Prize (2011), the Premio Nacional de Música (2010), the Kunstpreis Berlin (2017), and the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis (2019). In January 2022, Mendoza received the Composition Prize from the Christoph and Stephan Kaske Foundation.

She lives in Berlin, where she teaches composition at the Universität der Künste. She is artist-in-residence at the Valencia Orchestra.

Her scores have been published by Edition Peters since 2009.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2022


Site de la compositrice ; site des éditions Peters.

Liens internet

(liens vérifiés en janvier 2022).


  • Elena MENDOZA, Découpé, dans « Imaginary Landscape », Stefan Hussong : accordéon, avec des œuvres de Magnus Lindberg, Martin Smolka, David Eagle, Hope Lee, Heera Kim, 1 Cd Thorofon, 2020, CTH2664.
  • Elena MENDOZA, Breviario de espejismos, dans « Carpere Fide(s) », Bertrand Chavarría-Aldrete : guitare, avec des œuvres de Gabriel Erkoreka, Alberto Hortiguela, Mikel Urquiza, Joan Riera Robusté, Ramon Lazkano, 1 Cd Odradek, 2016, ODRCD346.
  • Elena MENDOZA, Díptico ; Contra-dicción ; Nebelsplitter, dans « Nebelsplitter », Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Mozaik, Aperto Piano Quartet, Jürgen Ruck : direction, 1 Cd Kairos, 2015, 0012882KAI.
  • Elena MENDOZA, Liebeslied für Recherche, dans « Liebeslieder », Ensemble Recherche, avec des œuvres de Carola Bauckholt, Georg Kröll, Günter Steinke, Caspar Johannes Walter, Walter Zimmermann, Chaya Czernowin, Enno Poppe, Mark Andre, Lucia Ronchetti, François Sarhan, et al., 2xCd Wergo, 2014, WER 67922.
  • Elena MENDOZA, « Niebla-Szenen / Fe De Erratas / Gramática De Lo Indecible », 1 Cd Wergo, 2011, WER 6580-2.
  • Elena MENDOZA, Contextos, dans « Multaqa », Carlos Gil : trombone ; Ensemble Espai  Sonor, avec des œuvres de Paco Zacarés, Voro García, Miguel Guerra, J. Vicent Egea, Alejandro Trapero, Juanjo Colomer, 1 Cd SB Productions, 2011.