Photo by Berthold Wegner
Photo by Berthold Wegner

Residency Dates: 10/14/2018 - 11/03/2018
Application Deadline: Sunday 05/13/2018

Maria de Alvear will not able to attend Residency #171. 

The German-Spanish composer Maria de Alvear was officially honored with the Spanish National Award for Music on June 1, 2016. King Felipe VI and Queen Leticia of Spain presented Maria de Alvear with the prize in Palencia Cathedral.

The jury commended Maria de Alvear for her prolific output and the international appeal of her works, for her pioneering role in the conception of musical works as complete artistic syntheses, for her interdisciplinary approach with its constant openness to partners from other artistic spheres, for her extraordinary ability to channel musical influences in a transgressive manner and for her strong commitment to younger composers.

Maria de Alvear was born in Madrid, and has been living and working in Cologne for more than 35 years. She was awarded the Bernd Alois Zimmermann Prize of the City of Cologne early on in her career, and studied New Music Theatre under Mauricio Kagel. Since 1998, she has collaborated regularly with video artists, both with her sister Ana de Alvear and the British artist Isaac Julien. In the same year, she founded the music publishing house WORLD EDITION. Since 2003, she has been publishing the journal KUNSTMUSIK- Writings on art as music. Her works, which are mostly interdisciplinary and make use of a variety of media, are performed worldwide by many well-known interpreters, such as Ensemble Modern, the Basel Sinfonietta, Ensemble Musikfabrik and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (hr-Sinfonieorchester).

She works together with numerous soloists, orchestras and ensembles across the world. She has given many concerts in Europe, the USA and Canada at several prestigious venues, including the Glenn Gould Concert Hall, Toronto, the Lincoln Center, New York, the Donaueschingen Festival, the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, the Hellerau Festival Theatre, the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. Numerous performances of her works have been recorded for TV and radio broadcasts, including by SWR, WDR, Arte and CBC/Radio Canada. Maria de Alvear has been accepted as a new member in the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts (AWK) since 2017.

For more information, please visit

Residency Statement

Learning about Freedom

This involves the very ambiguous meaning of the word because it can mean on the one hand peace and on the other hand freedom, liberty. That means to do what you want without limitations. So that will be the theme I will work with, together with Associates. I suggest the Associates bring scores and audio or video samples so I can give them a historical view of freedom in art as well as analyze and help them with their scores.

During the residency Isaac Julien and I will be working on a project together based on his upcoming film installation “Rochester / Pictures” where I intend to collaborate with him as composer and live music performer together with an orchestra. We will also discuss this project with our Associates, and how music involves film, television, computer etc.

Associates should bring a smart phone with video recording capabilities so that we can make recordings of any location, and document our curricula from unique personal perspectives. I believe it is important to investigate several perspectives of the same place or event. This is a part of my working philosophy. I would love to make a small concert together with the Associates but I know that it is not in the plan. Anyway, maybe we can do a small thing just for us? If you begin something you should also have an end. As a former Kagel student I know how important little performances are. That is part of my pedagogical concept. In this way, even a coffee machine, a candle, sounds of cooking and somebody having a shower can help us to do something. Because this is the sublimation of reality. Even a little fart in a good wind makes the audience smile.

And to notate a fart in the score is quite difficult! The amplificated fart soloist has to be behind the horn players because their wind waves the smell away. You can imagine how complicated it is to convince the fart soloist, the sound master and the horn players, the orchestra and the conductor. They all have to be convinced that this fart is a sine qua non for the composition. But this is the reality of a transgressive composer like me has to deal with. Little things are very important. This was just a small and joyful example. Looking for freedom.

Application Requirements

Applicants should submit the following items in common file formats. Maximum file size is limited to 15 mb.

  1. A brief biography (one page) that may include a short artistic statement, information about musical and non-musical background, primary influences, experience, and aspirations. (.doc, .docx, .pdf)
  2. A letter of intent stating your artistic goal(s) or a project to pursue during the residency (what you would like to work on during the residency). (.doc, .docx, .pdf)
  3. Please submit up to 20 minutes (total) recordings/video of works – or clearly indicated excerpts of works – along with corresponding scores if available. Please note – For files larger than 15MB, please use a cloud service such as dropbox or google drive to share the files. You can also include links to videos on YouTube, Vimeo or your personal web site. Please submit a document with link(s) that will allow Maria to access the large files or view video.

Recommended items to bring with you

  1. A lap top computer
  2. A smart phone capable of recording video /audio
  3. Scores and audio or video samples (scores may be duplicated, and/or printed at ACA up to 11” x 17“/ approximately 28 cm x 43 cm)

Residency Fee: $900

Includes a $100 administration fee, weekday meals and housing; does not include artist materials, transportation, or weekend meals.

Scholarships / Financial Assistance

Only accepted Associate Artists may apply for financial assistance. For details, please visit the master artist details page.

Application fee: $25

Click here to Apply!

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