Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri

Associate Professor


Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri (b. 1974) is a Greek-born composer and sound artist working in Ithaca, New York and Zurich Switzerland. Papalexandri’s works interweave the borderlines of sound art, musical composition, visual objects and performance and explore the factors that link these art forms.  The world of sound and the visual appearance of her works are in continuous interaction, while being uncompromisingly precise, pure and economical in their means.

Papalexandri’s work have been exhibited internationally, including the the Donaueschingen Festival & Museum Art Plus; MuDa museum of digital art, Zurich; the Asmolean Museum, Oxford; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Museum of Musical Instruments Berlin; Galerie Anhava, Helsinki; Galerie Denise René, Paris; Tokyo Art Fair; Galerie Mazzoli, Berlin; Japan Art Media; ISEA Hong Kong; Art Taipei; Center d’Art Monica, Barcelona; San Francisco Art Institute; Biennale Disegno Rimini, Italy; Transmediale, Berlin and Venice Biennale of Architecture. Papalexandri’s kinetic sound sculpture Speaking of Membranes, created in collaboration with Swiss artist Pe Lang is part of the Saastamoinen permanent collection of EMMA, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland.

Papalexandri obtained her BMus degree in music and MMus degree in composition from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Following postgraduate studies and research at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna (2008). She completed her doctoral studies in music composition (Ph.D.) at the University of California, San Diego (2008). In August 2016 Papalexandri joined the Cornell University Department of Music as Assistant Professor of Music Composition.

Papalexandri’s music has been commissioned and premiered worldwide by ensembles and soloists such as Neue Vocalsolisten, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble SurPlus, Ensemble Mosaik, Chamber Curious Players, Yarn / Wire, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Scenatet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Wet Ink Ensemble, Quartet New Generation, Orkest de Volharding, the London Improvisers Orchestra, the Hellenic Ensemble of Contemporary Music, Ensemble dissonArt, Hidden Mother, Ensemble This/Ensemble That, Karin Hellqvist, Ross Karre, Steven Schick, Justin Dehart,  Rhodri Davies, Ernst Surberg, Erik Drescher, Séverine Ballon amongst others, and featured in festivals such as MaerzMusik Festival, Berlin; the ISCM World Music Days, Stuttgart; Ultrashall, Berlin; ZKM, Karlsruhe; impuls, Graz; De Bijloke, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Dialogue Festival, Salzburg; Carlsbad Music Festival, Los Angeles; ECLAT Festival, Stuttgart; SPOR Festival, Aarhus; Audiograft Festival, Oxford; Concertgebouw Brugge; Athens Concert Hall; Tzlil Meudcan Festival, Tel Avil; Darmstadt; Gaudeamus Festival, Amsterdam; Issue Project Room, New York; Wien Modern and MATA New York.From 1999 to 2009 she was an active improviser (moving objects) performing with Eddie Prevost, Simon Vincent, Rob Wannamaker, John Lely, Sebastian Lexer, Seymour Wright, Steve Beresford and others.

The recipient of the Humboldt-University of Berlin: Cluster of Excellence International Fellowship (2015), Papalexandri has been honored by numerous awards, residencies and grants, including the Ernst Von Siemens Foundation Commission (2016), the Berlin Senate Sound Art Grant (2016), the Swedish Arts Council Composition Grant (2016 & 2015), the Berlin Senate Composition Grant (2011), the International IMPULS Composition Award (2009), a residency at the Electronic Music Studios, Sweden (2008), the Dan David Prize for Contemporary Music (2007), the Darmstadt Stipendienpreis (2006), the Erickson Composition Fellowship (2004), the Kurt Weill Composition Fellowship, the Gluck Art Fellowship (2004) and a residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2011-2012). In 2017 Papalexandri was a sound artist in residence at the International House of Artists Villa Corcodia Bamberg Germany and at  St John's College, University of Oxford. Papalexandri has been nominated for a 2019 residency at the International Instrument Inventor Foundation, the Hague, Holland.

Papalexandri's current commissions include performative sound kinetic installations for Archipel 2018 Genève, ensemble Klangforum Wien, ensemble dissonArt, Quiet Music Ensemble and Susanne Fröhlich as well as a solo CD album to be released in 2019 by Japanese record label mAtter. 


Research Focus

  • composition
  • sound art


  • Correspondences by Papalexandri & Ouzounian, Current Musicology, Columbia University Department of Music, Issue Spring 2014. Editor: David Gutkin.
  • Das Instrument neu erfinden, Positionen 84, texte zur aktuellen Musik. Translated by G. Nauck 2010
  • Still life, Notations 21- Anthology of Innovative Notation by T. Tisano (N.Y Mark Batty Publisher)
  • Amplifying the physical gesture, RTRSRCH 4 journal. Editor: Paul Craenen
  • Distanz, performative kinetic sound installation for Séverine Ballon. Commissioned by ECLAT Festival 2018, Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Contact for amplified motors, pins and sound panels. Commissioned by the Swedish Arts Council and Curious Chamber Players.
  • modular | n°2 – speaking of membranes. Commissioned by Donaueschingen Festival 2017
  • Duo for motors and percussion. Commissioned by the Swedish Arts Council and Hidden Mother 2016
  • Solo for motors and strings. Commissioned by Ernst Von Siemens Foundation/ Ultima Festival 2016
  • Speaking of Membranes, kinetic sound sculpture. Commissioned by the city of Montfort-sur-Meu
  • Untitled VI, sound installation for three male voices. Commissioned by Neue Vocalsolisten 2014
  • Quartet for Motors and Resonant Bodies. Commissioned by ensemble Yarn/Wire 2013
  • Untiled V, sound installation. Commissioned by SPOR Festival, Aarhus, Denmark 2013
  • Solo for Motors and Resonant Body. Commissioned by x track production 2012
  • Untitled IV, quartet for prepare recorders and sound devices. Commissioned by QNG and Ultraschall Festival 2012
  • Untitled III, solo for piano and sound devices. Commissioned by Fredrik Croene 2011
  • Operator for ensemble and sound devices. Commissioned by Ensemble Mosaik 2010
  • Untitled I for flute and sound devices. Commissioned by the Swedish Electronic Music Studio 2008
  • Reciprocal for 11 instrumentalists. Commissioned by Klangforum Wien for the Impuls Prize 2008
  • Warten, solo for self-constructed instruments. Commissioned by Wien Modern Festival 2008
  • Yarn for seven instrumentalists. Commissioned by IMD for the Kranichstein Musik Award 2008

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