Gabriela Ortiz

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Gabriela Ortiz (born 1964) is a Mexican music educator and composer.


Gabriela Ortiz Torres was born in Mexico City of parents who were folk musicians. She learned folk music at home, and then studied in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique. She returned to Mexico City due to the illness of her mother, and studied composition there with Mario Lavista at the National Conservatory of Music. She continued her studies at the Guildhall School with Robert Saxton, and with Simon Emmerson at the University of London where she received a PhD in 1996. After completing her studies, she took a position at the National School of Music at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City. She also taught at Indiana University in the United States.[1][2]


Ortiz incorporates conventional notation techniques in her compositions, which have contemporary, rock, African and Afro-Cuban influences. She has also composed pieces that incorporate experimental electro-acoustic elements.[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Civitella Ranieri Artistic Residency
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
  • Fulbright Fellowship
  • Distincion Universidad Nacional
  • First prize of the Silvestre Revueltas National Chamber Music Competition
  • First Prize at the Alicia Urreta Composition Competition
  • Composers Award Mexican Council for the Arts and Culture
  • National Artists System Fellowship from the Mexican Council for the Arts and Culture
  • Banff Center for the Arts Residency
  • Inroads Commission, a Program of Arts International with funds from the Ford Foundation
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Mozart Medal Award for Mexican Theatre and Music as the best composer of 1997
  • The Fundacion Cultural Bancomer Award[4]

Selected works[edit]

Dance scores

  • Hacia La Deriva (1989)
  • Eve and All the Rest (1991)
  • Errant maneuvers (1993)


  • Patios (1989)
  • Concierta candela (1993) for solo percussion and orchestra
  • Altar de Neón (1995) for percussion quartet and chamber orchestra
  • Zocalo-Bastilla (1996) for violin, percussion, and orchestra
  • Zocalo Tropical (1998) for flute, percussion, and orchestra
  • Altar de Piedra (2002) for percussion and orchestra, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Altar de Fuego (2010) for orchestra
  • Altar de Viento (2015) for flute and orchestra
  • Hominum — Concerto for Orchestra (2016)
  • Téenek — Invenciones de Territorio (2017) for orchestra, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Yanga (2019) for percussion quartet, chorus, and orchestra, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Clara (2021) for orchestra, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic
  • Altar de Cuerda (2021) violin concerto, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Kauyumari (2021) for orchestra, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic


  • Unicamente La Verdad (2010), libretto by Ruben Ortiz


  • Magna Sin (1992) for steel drum and tape
  • 5 Micro Etudes (1992) for tape
  • Things Like That Happened (1994) for cello and tape
  • El Trompo (1994) for vibraphone and tape
  • Altar de Muertos (1996) for string quartet and tape

Other works

  • 100 Watts (1998) for clarinet, bassoon, piano
  • Baalkah (1999) for soprano and string quartet[5]
  • Seis piezas a Violeta (2002) for string quartet and piano
  • Corporea (2014) for mixed chamber ensemble, commissioned by San Francisco Contemporary Music Players

Partial discography[edit]

Her compositions have been recorded and issued on CD including:

  • Denibée by Gabriela Ortiz, Alejandro Escuer (Audio CD - 2014)
  • Aroma Foliando by Gabriela Ortiz, Southwest Chamber Music (Audio CD - 2013)
  • Altar de Muertos by Gabriela Ortiz, Arturo Nieto-Dorantes, and Sarah Leonard (Audio CD - 2006)
  • Tear by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Gabriela Ortiz, Silvestre Revueltas, Adriana Isabel Figueroa Mañas, and Alberto Ginastera (Audio CD - 2003)
  • Visiones Panamericanas by Tania Leon, Eugenio Toussaint, Gabriela Ortiz, Roberto Sierra, and Richard Felciano (Audio CD - 2002)
  • Mi Chelada by Alejandro Cardona, Gabriel Ruiz, Astor Piazzolla, Miguel del Aguila, and Enrico Chapela (Audio CD - 2000)
  • Ritmicas by Minoru Miki, Santiago Ojeda, Gabriela Ortiz, Amadeo Roldan, and Eugenio Toussaint (Audio CD - 1997)
  • Musica Sinfonica Mexicana by Silvestre Revueltas, Federico Ibarra, Gabriela Ortiz, Manuel Enriquez, and Jose Pablo Moncayo Garcia (Audio CD - 1997)


  1. ^ Moore, Tom. "Gabriela Ortiz—An Interview". Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  2. ^ LaMay, Thomasin K. (2005). Musical voices of early modern women: many-headed melodies. ISBN 9780754637424. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  3. ^ Miranda Perez, Ricardo (2001). "Ortiz, Gabriela". doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.46060. ISBN 978-1-56159-263-0. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Gabriela Ortiz". Latitude 45 on Gabriela Ortiz. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  5. ^ listing

External links[edit]