Spanish conductor, performer and composer born in 1976 in Madrid, Spain.
A guitarist trained at Madrid’s El Escorial Conservatory, Alvaro Martinez Leon plays, sings and composes in the context of world music. He became a flamenco guitarist, has composed for dance spectacles and has performed in Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Mexico and Indonesia. After moving to Paris in 2004 he studied orchestration with Guillaume Connesson, discovered contemporary composition with Philippe Leroux as well as electroacoustics with Gilles Racot. He completed his training by studying conducting at the Lugano Conservatory in Switzerland (2013).
Alvaro Martinez Leon is passionately interested in the sound that surrounds us, the sociology of sound and the cognitive sciences such as anthropology and ethology. His social concerns have led him to analyse the relationships between individuals, to examine cultural identity and to study the ways culturally distant individuals approach each other.
Motivated by a pronounced taste for performance art, he upsets conventional stage layouts, redesigns layout for the musicians and the public and offers multi-sensorial experiences. Martinez Leon is also interested in the accents and the musicality of languages, explores the voice and the human body in all their potential and often mixes amateurs with professionals in his projects. His approach lies in instrumental music, electronics, music theatre, installations and also performance, with works that are ever more hybrid and multi-disciplinary. His output includes Le voisin d’en face for six speaking voices, first performed by the Vocaal LAB at the Queen Sofía National Museum Art Centre in Madrid (2008); Internazionale doppler for three performers, video, metronome, tuning fork, music boxes and live electronics, first performed by Maxime Arnaud, Sébastien Herrgott and Alvaro Martinez Leon in Savennières (2015); Id. 2, ‘sketch-performance’, first performed by the composer in Rochefort-sur-Loire (2016); The last hero, un aperçu culturel du cerveau reptilien de Richard Strauss, immersive theatre for ten instruments, first performed by the ensemble BlauerReiter conducted by Armando Merino in Munich (2016);Écouter ce fa, sound theatre for voice, electronics and two performers, first performed by Mélanie Panaget, Antoine Fraval and Alvaro Martinez Leon at the Théâtre Berthelot in Montreuil (2018); Souvenirs, fictions for seven performers and tape, first performed by the ensemble Soundinitiative for France Musique’s programme Création Mondiale (2019).
With the pianist and ‘sound-painter’ Beatriz Franco, Martinez Leon founded the artistes’ collective Trafic (2009). Desiring to bring together contemporary music and mainstream audiences, he conceives and produces concerts of contemporary music, multi-disciplinary evenings, performances, happenings and participative experiences. In parallel he is also a chorus director and orchestral conductor for amateurs, presenting a repertory ranging from songs of the world to classical sacred works.