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Firmly established as one of the leading Mexican composers of her generation, she has made her home in London since 1979 and her music is now performed widely around the world.

As an active participant in master classes at Dartington Summer School, studied with Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle and Richard Rodney Bennett. After graduating at the Guildhall School of Music, she obtained her Master of Arts at City University in London and completed her PhD at Manchester University.

Her collaboration with choreographers led her to receive the Music for Dance Award from the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1988.

After taking part at the Garden Venture Opera Project in Dartington, she completed her first chamber opera The seventh seed, released by Mode Records.

She continues to be involved in the musical life of her native country, having taught at the University in Mexico City and several other music institutions and was also a radio producer of new music.

She has been recipient of important awards, such as the Arts Council of Great Britain fellowship for composers; the Rockefeller, Fund for Culture Mexico/USA and the J.S. Guggenheim Fellowship in the USA and is currently beneficiary of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores, (FONCA) in Mexico.

As a freelance lecturer, Hilda has taught composition and lectured at Manchester University, the University of San Diego California, University of Buffalo and other prestigious Universities in the US, at Centre Acanthes in France and in 2007 was appointed the Darius Milhuad Visiting Professor at Mills College in the US. In 2011, she has been visiting professor at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya en Barcelona.

Her second chamber opera El Palacio Imaginado, commissioned by Musik der Jahrhunderte, English National Opera and the Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, was premiered with much acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

Recently completed works include La tierra de la miel, a collaborative opera project commissioned by Susan Narucki and premiered in 2013 at UCSD. More recently she completed her third string quartet Bitácora capilar premiered at Milton Court Theatre in London and a shorter version of this work Hacia una bitácora capilar which was premiered in May at the Festival Tage fur Neue Musik in Witten , both written and premiered at the celebrations for the Arditti String Quartet fortieth anniversary.


In October Festival Internacional Cervantino will present the world premier of A swallowed bait a setting of sonnet 129 by Shakespeare for baritone and ensemble as part of the 450th celebrations of Shakespeare’s birth.

She is currently working on an ensemble piece for the Mexican ensemble CEPROMUSIC, which will premiered in November at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico

Her works are published by University of York Music Press:

Hilda Paredes has been commissioned by soloists, ensembles and orchestras around the world. Her music has been performed by internationally renowned ensembles such as Trio Arbós, Arditti Quartet, Aventure, Court Circuit, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Signal, Ensamble Sospeso, Grup Instrumental de Valencia, London Sinfonietta, Lontano, The New Julliard Ensemble, Neue Vocalsolisten, Ensamble Sospeso, L’Instant donné, London Sinfonietta, and Lontano, amongst others. Her music has been widely performed at important international festivals, such as Huddersfield, Edinburgh Festival in the UK; Eclat and Ultraschall in Germany; Musica and Octobre en Normandie, in France; Wien Modern, in Austria; Akiyoshidai and Takefu Music Festivals, in Japan; Archipel ans Music monat , in Switzerland; De Ijsbreker Chamber Music Festival, in Amsterdam; Warsaw Autumn, in Poland; Ultima, in Oslo; Melbourne Festival, in Australia; Festival of Arts and Ideas in the USA, Ars Musica in Bruxelles; Festival de Alicante and ENSEMS Festival, in Spain; Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico, amongst others.

Tvors award
We are proud to announced that Harriet,  Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman was awarded The Ivors Composer Award in the stage category in 2019 : 


Señales a new CD (mode 292) of first recordings, Hilda Paredes’ third CD on Mode Records, has been released. It features three chamber works and two solo works, all written between 1995 and 2013.

Reviews for :
Revelación, Paris, 19th September 2011

Festival d’Automne à Paris
Bastille-Amphithéâtre in Paris
World premier of Altazor for baritone, ensemble and live electronics on a poem by Vicente Huidobro
Electronics created at Ircam by Lorenzo Bianchi

We are proud to announced that Harriet,  Scenes in the life of Harriet Tubman was awarded The Ivors Composer Award in the stage category in 2019 :


-Mode Records New York (60):The Seventh Seed, chamber opera in 3 acts, for 5 voices, string quartet and percussion. Permutaciones, for solo violin.
-Quindicim (QP 1067): Metmorfósis for guitar.
-Euram Record ( Euro092-3): Nana de la Luna for mezzo and piano.
-Luna Negra (CDLN22): Tres Piezas In Memoriam L.J. for ensemble.
-Ediciones Pentagrama (PCD300): Globo, Luciérnagas, for mezzo and piano.
-Somm Recordings.UK (Salsa Nueva): Recordando a Celia, for piano.
-Mode Records New York(149): Uy U T’an for string quartet. Arditti Quartet.
Can Silim Tun, for 4 voices and string quartet. Neue Vocalsolisten and Arditti Quartet. Ah Paaxo’ob for large ensemble. Ensemble Modern 2001.
Cotidales, for piano quintet. Ian Pace and Arditti Quartet. 2001.
-Mode Records, New York (165): Uy U T’an. Arditti Quartet. Music from Mexico.
-Three pieces for double-manual harpsichord by Agueda González. Quindicim QP169.
- Quindicim (QP 186). Sobre un páramo sin voces by pianist Ana Cervantes.
-Move (3324). Tríptico: Caligrama, A contraluz, Parábola by pianist Michael K. Harvey.

Articles published:

The concept of time in the music of Elliott Carter, published and translated into Spanish. Pauta 42 (Mexico,1992)
Conversación con Luciano Berio, published and translated (from Italian) into Spanish. Pauta 47-48 (Mexico,1993)
The concept of time in Indian Music , published and translated into Spanish. Pauta 49 (Mexico,1994)
Música para Cuerdas y Helicópteros , interview with Karlheinz Stockhausen. La Jornada Semanal (Mexico 1996)
Verstilidad y desafío: London Sinfonietta y el Cuarteto Arditti, Doce Notas, Madrid January 2006

Recent publication on Hilda Paredes

Das ei(ge)ne und das andere, die Mexikanische komponistin Hilda Paredes by
Monika Furst-Heidtmann, January 2009 Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik.

Selected reviews

“What the music of the Maya’s sounded like, nobody knows anymore. But the Mexican composer Hilda Paredes searches for answers in each recorded thought, in each numerological symbolism, and thus in the roots of her own culture”

“Its rhythmic vitality seduced an audience that was previously sceptical to any proposal by this Latin woman… the reaction was shocking, but with a telluric presence, like our volcanoes.”
REFORMA. Lázaro Azar. Mexico/Canada (2001)

“…nothing to match the refinement of seamless, Mayan influenced “concerto for ensemble” Ah Paaxo’ob by the Mexican Hilda Paredes” Paul Driver, SUNDAY TIMES.London (2002)

“Watching the world premier of Hilda Paredes’ chamber opera Phantom Palace, I had the sort of out-of body experience where you say to yourself “This can’t be happening in New Haven”. I simply couldn’t come to terms with the realization that I was seeing topflight European modern opera, performed by a major international company premiering a ceaselessly provocative, unexpectedly comic and altogether amazing work…just a few blocks from my home. This is the kind of thing you feel you can only travel huge distances to see. But there it is: New Haven should be talking about Phantom Palace-in a number of languages- for years to come”.

“Social activism finds voice in opera.
Ghosts visited the stage of Yale University Theatre this month, native ghosts from distant past of an unnamed Latin American country ruled by a brutal dictator….

In setting the story, Paredes evidently sought to draw on the musical qualities of the languages used to tell it, sometimes employing electronic means to manipulate her sound material (the spirit voices are made to come from different parts of the theatre), and sometimes using leitmotif textures (rather than themes) to evoke dramatic situations.
As her tale is one of pain, she has produce music of pain, full of angularity, pointillism and dissonances, often pervaded by an aura of tension and mystery.”
TORONTO STAR.Canada/USA (2003)

“I cannot resist praising the Homenaje a Remedios Varo by Hilda Paredes as outstanding, not to mention it’s acute and clear formal construction, with nothing less than a sweeping and impressive finale.”
Mundo Clásico. Spain. (2004)

“Amongst the jewels of the programme was the emotive and well crafted Homenaje a Remedios Varo, written in 1995 by the ascending Mexican composer Hilda Paredes.”
El Mundo. Spain. (2004)

“The pieces on this disc were written over a three-year period, from the 1998 string quartet Uy U Tan through the settings of Mayan spells and incantations in Can Silim Tun (1999), to the piano quintet Cotidales and the ambitious ensemble piece Ah Paaxo'ob from 2001. All show that Paredes is a composer with a fresh aural imagination, while her Carter-like use of instrumentalists as dramatic protagonists gives her music an extra dimension. Superbly played, it's music worth investigating.” The Guardian (2005)

“Her piece, "Uy u'tan", which means, "listen to their language" is the most striking on this disc. Each of the four strings has a different personality and they work together in strange ways, in odd combinations, coming together when you least expect it. This fine work makes me want to check out the other discs by Ms. Paredes” (2006) (Mode Cd 165)

“From the composer Hilda Paredes, ONIX performed Corazón de ónix, conducted by José Luis Castillo. This is a complex and ambitious piece, well written and with atmospheric and colouristic qualities. It also has solid treatment of different sound production of the instruments. These timbric qualities are enhanced by Paredes with the use of the bass and alto flute as well as bass clarinet. Corazón de ónix is marked by an interesting expressivity and by very attractive harmonic instability, which is enhanced by the use of micro-intervals and glissandi. All these elements merge in numerous moments of an evocative poetic sonority that is at the same time intense and concentrated”. La Jornada, Mexico. Juan Arturo Brennan. 2006

“Paredes, born in Mexico but long resident in London, should be better known. All four works are finely written and full of life. The title of her string quartet, Uy U T’an — in ancient Mayan — means Listen How They Talk, and Paredes takes the idea of “discourse” literally. The idea dates back to Haydn’s quartets, but she gives it an Arditti-ish twist, and the work has a superb dramatic sweep. The Ardittis are joined by the pianist Ian Pace for Cotidales and by Neue Vokalsolisten Stuttgart for the magic-spell evocation of Can Silim Tun. Ah Paaxo’ob (Those Who Play the Music) is a colourfully detailed ensemble piece.” Three stars. The Sunday Times (2005)

“Paredes has often been included as part of a new generation of Mexican composers eschewing any division between northern and southern hemispheric musical cultures, focusing on the often tension-filled relations between them. And while it would not be inaccurate to compare Paredes’ chamber works to those of Ligeti, Xenakis, or Tristan Murail, it is her attention to the relationship between communication and miscommunication, conversation and noise, that sets her work apart. In thinking about Paredes’ chamber works, we can borrow a phrase from the philosopher Michel Serres, "the miracle of harmony." Reviewed by Eugene Thacker
School of Literature, Communication & Culture
Georgia Institute of Technology

“Besides his usual conducting duties, Burns showed to be a meltingly smooth trumpeter and flugelhorn player in Hilda Paredes "Ooxp eel ik'il t'aan," a 2007 work for percussion and electronics where Mayan poetry is read by author Briceida Cuevas (heard via a recording) to invoke ancient mysticism. This fusion of indigenous and modern American modes of expression bridged the millennia both convincingly and imaginatively.” Chicago Sun-Times May 21, 2010 BY BRYANT MANNING

“Such emotional depth could be found in the comparatively spare, even sepulchral textures of Hilda Paredes' Canciones Lunáticas. These were three 'lunatic' songs set around a contemplation of the moon's solitary witness for a dark night, moving through a wild second song of lunacy, before emerging in celebration of the moon dancing 'by herself in the meadow' (this last set to a spectrally buoyant version of the Mexican ternary-binarydance, the huapango). The musical language of the setting was narratively alert, sometimes pictorial, sometimes obtuse, but always sensitive, agitated, and energised.” (2011)

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