Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri (b. 1974) is a Greek-born composer and sound artist working in Berlin, Germany, Ithaca, NY 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. It is a work that challenges the production and perception of sound by questioning the instrument as a sound-generator as well as the type of sound production and behavior of the performer. The world of sound and the visual appearance of Papalexandri’s works are in continuous interaction, while being uncompromisingly precise, pure and economical in their means.
Papalexandri obtained her BMus degree in music and MMus degree in composition ( MMus) 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 Composition and Sound Art.
Over the last seven years, Papalexandri has created a series of works centered upon mechanical constructions, that allows her to acoustically activate musical instruments, objects and architectural elements and space presented in the context of composition, music performance, sound installation and sculpture. She is known internationally for her subtle sound constructions employing few means, which she makes both herself and together with Swiss-born kinetic artist Pe Lang. Their recent kinetic sound sculpture, Speaking of Membranes, is in the collection of Emma, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland.
Selected by the Japan Media Art Festival and supported by Pro-Helvetia, Papalexandri’s work have been exhibited internationally, including Asmolean Museum, Oxford, Museum of Musical Instruments Berlin; The Scheldonian Theatre, University of Oxford, Japan Art Fair, ISEA Hong Kong; Speelklok Museum, Ultrech; Long Night of Museums, Stuttgart; Standing Pine Gallery, Nagoya, Japan; Gallery Anhava, Helsinki; Mario Mazzoli Gallery, Berlin; Art Taipei; New Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London; ICI Institute of Cultural Inquire, Berlin; Kunsthalle Freiburg, Germany; Center d’Art Monica, Barcelona; Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark; San Francisco Art Institute; Tokyo Yebis International Festival for Art; Biennale del Disegno di Rimini, Italy; Transmediale, Berlin, Martin-Gropious- Bau Museum, Berlin, Donaueschingen Festival- Museum Art Plus, and Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Papalexandri’s music has been commissioned and premiered all over the world by ensembles, such as Neue Vocalsolisten, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble SurPlus, Ensemble Mosaik, 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, 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.
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), a residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2011-2012), 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 and the Gluck Art Fellowship (2004). In 2017 Papalexandri will be a sound artist in residence at the International House of Artists Villa Corcodia Bamberg Germany and at St John's College, University of Oxford.
Current commissions include works for cellist Séverine Ballon - ECLAT festival, Chamber Curious Players, Quiet Music Ensemble, Klangforum Wien and a solo CD album to be released in 2018 by Japanese record label Matter.