Canela Palacios

(b. 1979, La Paz).

Bolivian composer of mostly chamber, vocal and multimedia works that have been performed in the Americas and Europe.

Ms. Palacios initially studied composition with Cergio Prudencio and Alberto Villalpando at the Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo in La Paz from 1999–2004, then studied composition privately with Coriún Aharonián and Graciela Paraskevaídis in Montevideo in 2004. She later studied composition with Cornelius Schwehr at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg in Freiburg im Breisgau in 2018–19.

Among her honours are Primer Premio in the 2do Concurso de Composición of the Goethe-Zentrum in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (2017, for La matraca), Primer Premio at the Festival Mujeres en la Música Nueva in Bogotá (2019, for 25 retintines) and a commission from the Donaueschinger Musiktage (2021). Her music has been performed in Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Germany, and Uruguay.

She is also active in other positions. She co-founded with Adriana Aramayo the Dúo Abrelata in La Paz in 2007 and performed as its guitarist and singer from 2007–12. She co-founded the performance space Casataller in La Paz in 2011. She later founded the project Música Contemporánea Boliviana in La Paz in 2019.

She has taught composition at the Escuela de Composición in La Paz, which she co-founded, since 2015 and has served as its director since 2015.

In addition to the works listed below, she has written music for dance, films, theatre, and TV productions.


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La Permanencia, 24 tarka (wooden flutes from South America), 2007

Guitarrillas, 2 toy guitarrillas (both + toy charango [10-string lutes from Bolivia]), 2010

Taaaaaaa tatata taaaa taaaa taaaa taaaaaa, 4 players with toy instruments (pinkillo [large flutes from South America], birthday bugles, bells, rubber ducks), 2013

Diecisiete, 3 percussion, any ensemble (14 players), 2016

La matraca, violin, piano, percussion, 2017

Bison Bison, violin, piano, 2017

25 Ballons, 5 players (with balloons, toy whistles), 2018

25 retintines, 4 guitars, 2019

Redoble, golpee, redoble, 3 percussion, 2019

allqa, amplified guitar, fixed media, 2021


En el tiempo (text by the composer), 2 sopranos, 2006

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. (vocalise), 5 female voices, 2012

Raspadillo en el sol (vocalise), female voice, flute, guitar, 2014

los otros (vocalise), soprano, 4 fifes (all + pinkillo), clarinet, guitar, violin, cello, percussion, 2021


mecánica I, 2022


Laura y yo, flute, fixed media, film (by Daniel Leguizamón, Gilmar Gonzales), 2019

Trío, fixed media, film (by the composer), 2020

Pequeño dúo, improviser (with internal parts of a disarmed old telephone, work tools), film (by the composer), 2020


Desordenadas, guerreras, lagartas, ateas, apátridas, desheredadas y encima subdesarrolladas, inestables, antiseguras, impropias (Dúo Abrelata), 2007

Sur, 2019