Javier José Mendoza
Artistic Director and Conductor
Javier José Mendoza is Artistic Director of the Chicago Arts Orchestra. Active in a movement to unearth and re-debut forgotten works from 18th-century New Spain. Mendoza is energetically re-premiering pieces from archives in Mexico, Guatemala, and Spain in an effort to bring this wonderful music back into public awareness. Mendoza has given modern day repremieres in the United States of works by composers Ignacio Jerusalem and Santiago Billoni, both of whom worked in present day Mexico in the 18th century.
He has presented papers and lectures on this s ubject at Loyola University Chicago, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Chicago Campus), Virginia Tech, Instituto Cervantes and the International University of Andalucía. Mendoza's work with the CAO can be heard on the album Al Combate, an imprint of Navona Records, and is available internationally through NAXOS.
Mendoza is in his third season as the director of the UIC Orchestra and UIC's Mariachi Fuego. Recently, he was a guest conductor at the University of Copenhagen performing a program of works by Latino composers. Under Professor Mendoza's direction, the UIC Orchestra just completed its second consecutive appearance on the Chicago Latino Music Festival, which is the largest festival of its kind in the country.
Mendoza is one of a few American conductors actively working with an El Sistema-inspired youth orchestra program in Latin America. As guest conductor of El Sistema de Orquestas de Guatemala and the Escuela Municipal de Musica he has led concerts at the Teatro Nacional (National Theatre), Sexta Avenida, and Casa Santa Domingo. Mendoza is a conductor with Opera Maya in Quintana Roo, Mexico and presented the first orchestral concert performed at Tulum, one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya. Mendoza has performed with the CAO and Opera Maya across Mexico including performances in San Miguel de Allende, Campeche, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Chetumal. Other international performances have been with the State Philharmonic of Sibiu, Romania and the Camerata Antonio Soler in El Escorial, Spain. Professor Mendoza has studied in Europe with Jorma Panula and at the conductor-training program of Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, with Maestro Gianluigi Gelmetti.
Mendoza in the News
Drew Edward Davies