Maria Alejandra Castro Espejo (Lima, 1978) is a Peruvian/ Dutch composer.
She studied composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory (Codarts) with Klaas de Vries and continued her studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (Masters in Composition). She also obtained a bachelor's degree in Musicology at the University of Amsterdam. Her instrument is the piano and voice.
Her body of work includes diverse instrumentations such as vocal music, chamber music, electro-acoustic music and music theatre. When composing, the melody is never far away, also when she composes for an instrumental ensemble the singing qualities lay always in the back of her mind. Maria Alejandra 's Peruvian background is one of her musical inspirations, especially the Afro-Peruvian musical traditions. What interests her, is its rhythmic richness resulting from a binary sensation of the pulse. Trying to grasp some
of its energy, she composed Lando lando siempre contigo, for an ensemble of several stringed instruments (guitars, harp, violin, double bass) and percussion, including a cajón. Trying to ‘translate' music which comes from a popular tradition in composed music, seems a delicate process since that which is translated are ephemeral qualities such as sound qualities, hints of rhythms
and a certain atmosphere.
In 2015 she wrote her first full-length music theatre work "EICHMANN, music theatre about the free will" which received its premiere at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam. For this production, she collaborated with theatre director and philosopher Bo Tarenskeen.
Musicians with whom she worked: Nieuw Ensemble (Amsterdam), De Ereprijs, Enesco String Quartet (Paris), Ensemble Reconsil (Vienna), Duo Cajon (Carina Vinke, Jonas Skielboe) and Oerknal ensemble in The Hague. Leo van Doeselaar,
an international acclaimed organist, praised her organ work Parallel/Non Parallel part II and recommended this piece to several of his students. Conductors with whom she collaborated include Bas Wiegers, Arie van Beek, Christian Karlsen, Wouter Padberg and Roland Freisitzer.