Teachers: Mario Lavista
Gabriela Ortiz is one of the foremost composers in Mexico today, and one of the most vibrant musicians emerging in the international scene. Her musical language achieves an extraordinary and expressive synthesis of tradition and the avant-garde; combining high art, folk music and jazz in novel, frequently refined and always personal ways. Her compositions are credited for being both entertaining and immediate as well as profound and sophisticated; she achieves a balance between highly organized structure and improvisatory spontaneity. Although based in Mexico, her music is commissioned and performed all over the world.
Recent commissions and premieres include her new videopera Unicamente la Verdad with The Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble under Carmen Helena Téllez, Altar de Piedra for three percussion players, timpani and orchestra for Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra with Esa- Pekka Salonen and Kroumata percussion ensemble; Zócalo-Bastilla, for violin, percussion and orchestra premiered by violinist Pierre Amoyal, percussionist Ricardo Gallardo and OFUNAM Philharmonic; Altar de Muertos, a string quartet commissioned by Kronos Quartet; Zócalo Tropical for flute, percussion and orchestra premiered by flutist Luis Julio Toro, and percussionist Ricardo Gallardo and Orquesta Simon Bolivar;100 Watts commissioned by Trio Neos; Seis piezas a Violeta for string quartet and piano premiered by The Cuarteto Latinoamericano and pianist Arturo Nieto and Baalkah a new work for Kronos Quartet and soprano Dawn Upshaw.
Moreover her music has been played by prestigious ensembles, soloists and orchestras such as: Amadinda Percussion Ensemble, The Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra, Zoltan Kocsis, Sara Leonard, Alejandro Escuer, Onix Ensemble, Tambuco Percussion Quartet, The Mexican University Philharmonic Orchestra, La Camerata Chamber Players, Mexico City's Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Mälmo Symphony Orchestra among others.
Ortiz has been honored with the Civitella Ranieri Artistic Residency; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship; the Fulbright Fellowship; the Distinción Universidad Nacional; the First prize of the Silvestre Revueltas National Chamber Music Competition with her piece Altar de muertos (a work commissioned by the Kronos Quartet); the First Prize at the Alicia Urreta Composition Competition; the Composers Award and the National Artists System Fellowship from the Mexican Council for the Arts and Culture; Banff Center for the Arts Residency; the Inroads Commission, a Program of Arts International with funds from the Ford Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation; the Mozart Medal Award for Mexican Theatre and Music as the best composer of1997 and The Fundación Cultural Bancomer Award.
Works for Percussion
Altar de Neón - Percussion Quartet; Orchestra
Altar de piedra (Altar of Stone) - Percussion Quartet
Atlas-Pumas - Marimba; Violin
Concierto Centela - Multiple Percussion; Marimba; Orchestra
Concierto Voltaje - Timpani; Orchestra
El Trompo - Vibraphone; With Tape
Liquid Borders - Percussion Quartet
Magna sin - Steel Drum; With Tape
Ríos - Percussion Quintet; Flute/Piccolo; Alto Saxophone; Cello
Ríos 1 - Percussion Quintet