updated 4 January 2022

Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri

Greek composer born in 1974 in Ptolemaida.

Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri was trained in rhythmic gymnastics at a young age, an experience that she says introduced her to the idea of synchronizing movement, objects, and space. After an accident, she turned her attention to music. At the age of 20, she went to London to study and became interested in improvisation. She collaborated there with, among others, the band AMM and Eddie Prévost between 1999 and 2009. She continued her studies in music and composition at Goldsmiths College, London, and then at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. In 2008, she defended her doctorate at the University of California, San Diego. From there she embarked upon a long and prolific collaboration with the Swiss artist Pe Lang. In 2016, she joined Cornell University, New York, as Assistant Professor of Composition and Sound Art.

Papalexandri-Alexandri has been honored with several residencies, notably at the Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) in Stockholm in 2008 and at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart in 2011-2012. In 2017, she was sound-artist-in-residence at the International Artists’ House Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany, and at St John’s College, University of Oxford. In 2019, she was nominated for a residency with the International Instrument Inventors in The Hague, Netherlands.

Her works have been commissioned and premiered by Neue Vocalsolisten, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble SurPlus, Ensemble Mosaik, Curious Chamber Players, Yarn/Wire, Ensemble Dal Niente, Scenatet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Wet Ink Ensemble, Quartet New Generation, the London Improvisers Orchestra, the Hellenic Ensemble of Contemporary Music, dissonArt ensemble, Karin Hellqvist, Ross Karre, Steven Schick, Justin DeHart, Rhodri Davies, Ernst Surberg, Erik Drescher, and Séverine Ballon, and performed at such festivals as ISCM World Music Days in Stuttgart, Ultraschall, ZK/U (Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik), impuls in Graz, Archipel, ECLAT Festival Stuttgart, Darmstadt, Gaudeamus Festival, ISSUE Project Room in New York, Wien Modern, and MATA in New York. Her piece chesSound (2014) was commissioned and developed in collaboration with the chess grandmaster Vera Nebolsina.

Papalexandri-Alexandri’s work lies at the crossroads of composition, sound art, visual arts, and performance, as she searches for elements that link these art forms. She also explores the possibilities of sounds generated through performers or motorized objects. She is economical with her resources, but nonetheless attaches a significance to the visual, using apparently simple devices to hide the complex mechanisms behind her compositions. For example, Speaking of membranes (2014), commissioned for the Chapelle Saint-Joseph in Montfort-sur-Meu, employs 136 loudspeakers that generate a complex body of sound evoking rainfall. Many of her minimalist kinetic and sound installations were conceived in collaboration with Lang, including Solo for Motors and Wind Resonators (2019), Contact Points (2018), Distanz (2017-2018), Sound Sculpture I, II,III (2015), Operator (2010), Reciprocal (2008), and Warten (2008).

Prizes and awards

  • Ernst Von Siemens Foundation Commission, 2016
  • Berlin Senate Sound Art Grant, 2016
  • Swedish Arts Council Composition Grant, 2015, 2016
  • Humboldt-University of Berlin: Cluster of Excellence International Fellowship, 2015
  • Berlin Senate Composition Grant, 2011
  • International impuls Composition Award, 2009
  • Dan David Prize for Contemporary Music, 2007
  • Darmstadt Stipendienpreis, 2006
  • Erickson Composition Fellowship, 2004
  • Kurt Weill Composition Fellowship, 2004
  • Gluck Art Fellowship, 2004

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2021


Cornell University, Jegens & Tevens.

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en avril 2022).


  • Anthonia CARTER, Marianthi PAPALEXANDRI-ALEXANDRI, Guy HOFFMAN, « Lessons From Joint Improvisation Workshops for Musicians and Robotics Engineers », Frontiers in Robotics and AI vol. 7, février 2021.


  • Marianthi PAPALEXANDRI-ALEXANDRI, Reciprocal, dans « Secret Thirteen Mix 046 », 1 CD Secret Thirteen Journal, 2012, STJ 046.
  • Marianthi PAPALEXANDRI-ALEXANDRI, Still Life, QNG Quartet New Generation, dans « etheReal », 1 CD edition zeitklang, 2006, ez-24026.
  • Marianthi PAPALEXANDRI-ALEXANDRI, Gaze, Black Jackets Company, dans « Chamber Music From Flanders - Kamermuziek Uit Vlaanderen - Musique De Chambre De Flandres », 1 CD Flanders Music Centre, 2003, FMC 2003-01.