Hilda Paredes

b. 1957

British

Biography

“Whilst living in London and rooted in contemporary European music, echoes of pre-colonial Central American cultures surfaces in her music, as well as a very definite essential strength, channelled towards a refined and sensitive music always poetically framed”. – Mundo clásico 2016

Firmly established as one of the leading Mexican composers of her generation, Hilda Paredes has been based in London for almost 40 years. Musicians, singers and conductors frequently praise the perfect balance she achieves between brilliant compositional technique and a keen sensibility for the particular instruments and individuals for whom she writes.

While there is a testimony of constant collaboration with Mexican poets and artists in her works, she also draws inspiration from music and cultures from around the world. Her music has been acclaimed by the critics for the refinement of her craft, marked by the intensity of the relationship between time, dramatic force and poetic approach.

The versatility of her work is manifest in a catalogue that includes a wide range of electroacoustic works created at IRCAM, at SWR Experimentalstudio and at CIRM, where the electronics of her widely celebrated opera Harriet, Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman, were created. After the premiere at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, the Dutch critic, Joep Stapel, placed Harriet as the number one Best Classical Music of 2018. In 2019, Hilda was awarded a prestigious Ivors Composer Award for this work.

In addition to this award, Paredes has been honoured with a number of international accolades, including Music Theatre Now, the PRS for Music Foundation, J.S. Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller, Fund for Culture Mexico/USA, and the Fellowship from Sistema Nacional de Creadores (FONCA) in Mexico.

Hilda Paredes’ music has been commissioned and performed by many prestigious ensembles, orchestras and soloists including Trio Arbós, Arditti Quartet, Aventure, Collegium Novum Zurich, Contrechamps, Court Circuit, Ensemble Intercontemporain, L’Instant donné, Hilliard Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Signal, Grup Instrumental de Valencia, ICE, London Sinfonietta, Lontano, The New Julliard Ensemble, Neue Vocalsolisten, Plural Ensemble, Taller Sonoro, Psappha, Ensemble Phoenix Basle, MDi Ensemble, Orchestra di l’Arena de Verona, RTE, OFUNAM, Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, amongst many others.

Her works have been presented by such prominent international festivals and venues as the Wigmore Hall, Huddersfield Contemporary Music and Edinburgh Festivals in the UK; Eclat and Ultraschall in Germany; Festival D’Automne a ParisMusica and Octobre en Normandie in France; Wien Modern and Klangspuren in Austria; Akiyoshidai and Takefu Music Festivals in Japan; Archipel in Switzerland; De Ijsbreker Chamber Music Festival in Amsterdam; Warsaw Autumn in Poland; Ultima in Oslo; Melbourne International Music Festival in Australia; June in Buffalo, the Composer Portraits Series at Miller Theatre NY, and Festival of Arts and Ideas in the USA, Ars Musica in Bruxelles; Festival de AlicanteFestival de Música Religiosa de Cuenca and ENSEMS Festival in Spain; and Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico.

Paredes continues to be involved in the musical life of her native Mexico as a composer and teacher and was also radio producer of new music.

Much in demand as composition tutor and lecturer, Hilda is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Buffalo and at other distinguished Universities in the US. She was the Darius Milhuad Professor at Mills College and at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona as well as at Manchester University and at Centre Acanthes in France.

After studying composition at the Conservatoire in Mexico City with Mario Lavista, she was an active participant in master classes at Dartington Summer School, studying with Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle and Richard Rodney Bennett. She was also a student at Franco Donatoni’s Masterclasses at the Academia Chighiana. Paredes graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and subsequently obtained her Master of Arts at City University in London, and later completed her PhD at Manchester University under Prof. John Casken.

Paredes’ works have featured on the AEON, Mode Records NY, Bridge and IBS labels, amongst others and are published by University of York Music Press.

For more information, please see Hilda’s catalogue with UYMP or her website.