“His proclivity for both monumental and historic performances is well known, but with his latest Project, 32-year-old Marios Joannou Elia, once again, exceeds all limits.”

Salzburger Nachrichten



MAY 2017: This website is currently being updated. 



Marios Joannou Elia, Rokokotheater Schwetzingen (Photo © Horst Hamann)


Encompassing Contemporary Concert Music, Opera, Multimedia and Cultural Events 
Marios Joannou Elia (1978) has surpassed the customary boundaries of contemporary music to become the first composer whose singular work, the open air multimedia symphony AUTOSYMPHONIC (2010/11), was performed in front of a live audience of 20,000 people, achieving 55 million television viewers and two billion media contacts worldwide. In addition, he served as artistic director for this large-scale production. His work encompasses compositions in many diverse genres and backdrops for opera and modern concert including multimedia and eminent projects for cultural events. The central concept of this work, The Concept of Polymediality (2003), is based on a qualitative polymediality that is comprised of two dimensions: the work-immanent compositional and polymediality (alongside all the associated media) during the process of staging.
[Read Essay]


The Sound of Vladivostok by Marios Joannou Elia

January 13, 2017


an acoustic portrait of the city

Inspired by unparalleled facets of the City of Vladivostok, THE SOUND OF VLADIVOSTOK begins in March 2017. [Project’s Website]

Hints-of-Life, Nikolas-Kostis, Rebecca-Bathory, Nick-Elia,-Marios-Joannou-Elia

December 12, 2016


documentary film 

This documentary film is a testament to the enigmatic world of fine-art photographer Rebecca Bathory, who is an urban explorer and documenter of strange and abandoned spaces that exist across Europe, hidden from the general public. Directed by Kostis Nikolas, with music by Nick Elia and additional music by Marios Joannou Elia. [Read More]

December 8, 2016


at Zarya Center for Contemporary Art

Elia is invited as the first-ever Composer-in-Residence at the Zarya Center for Contemporary Art in Vladivostok. During March 2017 he will give lectures, master-classes, and collaborate with important music groups and art institutions of the city.




focused on analogue synthesizers 

Marios is at Angelic Studios UK for a collaborative project with Nick Elia. It is focused on analogue synths and organised noise (generated from a modular system as well as by processing location recordings). It involves a lot of experimentation from a production and technical perspectve as well as a level of improvisation. Amongst the rare synths used for this project are Jupiter-8, ARP2600, Odyssey, OB-Xa, SH-7, EMS Synthi AKS, Prophet 6, Prophet T8, Memorymoog Plus, Voyager, Source, Korg MS-20, OSCar and TB303. [More about Project]



Marios Joannou Elia & Nick Elia at Angelic Studios (Photo © Kostis Nikolas)

Latest Album

Marios Joannou Elia - New Album available at iTunes, amazon, Google Play, Naxos, Arkiv Music, etc.


“a groundbreaking album of guitar music”

An alluring recording of nine works by the composer Marios Joannou Elia – 55 minutes of music, composed between 1999 and 2008, which adds new dimensions to guitar repertoire. The recording is neither typical contemporary music nor is it a mainstream classical guitar album, but it offers a manifestation of the endless possibilities of the guitar.

The album was recorded at the ORF RadioKulturhaus in Vienna. 

[Explore Project]  [Hear Album Overview]  [Buy Album]



Elia is considered in the music world to be the man for monumental events.

Südwest Presse

Selected Bibliography


published by Schott Music, Mainz 2016 (in German)

Die gegenwärtige Situation fachübergreifenden Komponierens und die Suche nach »neuen« Musiktheaterkonzepten, die an die Grenzbereiche des Musiktheaters vorstoßen, bilden den Ausgangspunkt des vorliegenden Aufsatzes. Die Frage ist, wie die Musikästhetik von zeitgenössischen Kompositionen in einem polymedialen Kontext zu betrachten ist. Damit sind intermedial funktionierende Werke gemeint wie die Oper in vier Akten Die Soldaten von Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1958–60) oder die »szenische Illusion in einem Aufzug« Die Erschöpfung der Welt von Mauricio Kagel (1976–78). Bemerkenswert ist, dass der Komponist hier die Verantwortung einer festgelegten polymedialen Komposition übernimmt. Anhand von komponierten Vorlagen, üblicherweise einer Partitur, ist über den Aspekt der zusammenhängenden Interaktion im »Repertoire« der Stücke, das Musik und außermusikalische Elemente zusammenbringt, nachzudenken. Exemplarisch werden dazu Werke des 20. und Anfang 21. Jahrhunderts einbezogen, um darzustellen, wie die Erweiterung des kompositorischen »Repertoires« zustande kommt. Die Hauptthese des Aufsatzes ist, dass polymedialen Werken eine »zusammengesetzte« Musikästhetik zugrunde liegt. Die polymediale Darstellungsform der Musik ist vom Komponisten konzipiert und zu einem zusammengesetzten Ganzen strukturiert. … [Visit Schott]  [Read]


Elia, Marios Joannou: »Zeitgenössische Musik im Kontext von Polyästhetik und Polymedialität«, Schott Music, Mainz 2016



ed. by Thomas Hochradner, published by Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2014 (in German)

Das zentrale Konzept meiner Arbeit basiert auf einer qualitativen Polymedialität, die zwei Dimensionen umfasst: die werkimmanent-kompositorische und die Polymedialität auf der Ebene der Inszenierung. In der ersten Dimension werden unkonventionelle Musik- und musikfremde Medienelemente zu integralen Bestandteilen der Komposition. In der zweiten Dimension tritt die Komposition als Ganzes in synergetische Interaktion mit anderen Kunstformen oder Medien. … [Buy Book/eBook] 



Marios Joannou Elia: Publication-Winter-Heidelberg-Verlag

TEDx Talk


everything you know is wrong | rialto theatre, limassol
How acoustics, sounds and noises influence our everyday life, give value to our experiences and ultimately become a significant paradigm shift in the onset of creativity. The question is not whether you are able to hear but rather whether you are willing to listen. A speech on rediscovering life’s musicality…

[Learn More]  [Watch Talk] 


Marios Joannou Elia at TEDx Limassol


A group of 120 youths, who received a full-year’s free instruction in drumming in order to allow them to elicit sounds of the automobiles from the event, were chosen from the many casting auditions held in collaboration with the Baden-Wuerttemberg Popular Music Academy.


consisting of 80 vehicles – from classic to modern super cars, busses and trucks
“The world’s first automobile orchestra” 
Deccan Herald of India

In 2010 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the invention of the automobile, Elia created “the world’s first automobile orchestra”. The central theme of the event provided the medium from which the music was generated: The sounds the cars made served as the basis for a nine-movement symphony, written for a large symphony orchestra, a car orchestra, a percussion octet, an adult chorus, a children’s choir and electronics. 

The car orchestra consisted of a selection of 80 cars: classic cars, supercars, racing cars, roadsters, limousines and luxury vehicles, microcars, American cars, pickups, buses and trucks (Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Jaguar, Aero, Rolls Royce, Cadillac, Trabant, etc.). 

Marios Joannou Elia casts a Ferrari 458 Italia (Photo © Volker Knobloch)

Marios Joannou Elia records an Audi R8 (Photo © Audio-Technica)

Marios Joannou Elia conducts a rehearsal on an AERO 6218R (Photo © Aesthis Records)

Stage 1/6: Car-castings all over Germany

More than 120 vehicles were evaluated by Marios Joannou Elia within a period of ten months. Each one was separately explored, and all extracted sounds – up to 35 from a single car – were meticulously documented (recorded by a sound engineer, filmed and photographed). During the casting, Elia analysed in great detail, the playing technique, tempo, articulation and loudness of each individual car element to decide which ones could be employed in the performance.

Stage 2/6: Audio recordings in studio
After the car-auditions were completed, Elia evaluated all recorded sounds in a studio. The tone frequencies were also measured. Based on their qualities and individual characteristics, he chose 80 vehicles, including representatives from the entire automobile history. These formed the car orchestra of which approximately 800 car sounds can be found throughout the score. They were recorded in a professional studio which was especially built for this occasion, thus providing aural guidance and parameters to the performers.
Stage 4/6: Rehearsals on every car

The cars were scored either solo (featuring a single car element), and in smaller groups or orchestral tutti. Rehearsals began at first on percussion instruments, then on simulative utensils and finally on the cars themselves. In total 120 youths and 14 professional musicians took part in the one-year preparation process.   

[More about Project]


Elia is well-known for his extravagant and popular music events.

Augsburger Allgemeine



for guitar quartet
“A performance which one is not likely to forget”
Classical Guitar Magazine (UK)

In STAUBZUCKER (2007), Elia creates an enormous amount of possibilities to provoke specific sounds by employing unusual playing techniques. The score requires 23 percussion instruments to articulate the diversity of required sounds. Additionally the instrumentalists create sounds with their own voice and body by clapping, flipping and rubbing on paper. A hint at the composer’s purpose gives the score: “Since the happily-failed encounter of Odysseus with the sirens, all songs have become ill” (Horkheimer/Adorno). Actually, it is not the destiny of the Greek hero that attracts the composer but the means with which its literary creator Homer causes tension. His own technique of using parallel plots, flashbacks, introductions, perspective and narration changes are the stimuli for which Elia declares are “like powdered sugar (Staubzucker) that can be used for a highly explosive alloy. The sound of the guitars bursts like the ‘diseased’ songs from the sirens”.  [Read More]

Performed by Miscelanea Guitar Quartet, Salzburg (Aesthis Records).




for pop band vocal ensemble, symphony orchestra and choir
“This is neither classical nor popular music, but something new and challenging”
Conductor Johannes Harneit at m:con TV 

According to Elia, polyaesthetics arise out of the polymedial employment of materials which is systematically intended and constructed for the development of the artistic process. In this respect, hybridity is a central aspect of his concept of polymediality. In terms of a musical amalgam, genre-like, it manifests in the confrontation between contemporary classical and popular music. In 2011, commissioned by m:con-mannheim:congress GmbH and the City of Mannheim, Elia composed DER TRAUM (THE DREAM) for symphony orchestra, choir and the German pop music band “Söhne Mannheims”. Xavier Naidoo, Germany’s most prominent soul singer, sang the solo vocals. [Read More]

The piece was performed by Söhne Mannheims, SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra, SWR Vocal Ensemble Stuttgart, Staging: Horst Hamann. 



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