Javier José Mendoza is Assistant Professor and Director of Orchestral Studies at the Florida International University School of Music. Previously, he was orchestra director at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he directed the UIC Orchestra and founded Mariachi Fuego. He has recently been a guest conductor at the University of Copenhagen.
Mendoza is also Artistic Director of the Chicago Arts Orchestra (CAO) and is active in a movement to unearth and re-debut forgotten works from viceregal Latin America. 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 re-premieres 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/lectures on this subject 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 has appeared as a conductor with the Chicago Latino Music Festival, the largest festival of its kind in the USA, over the last two seasons. Highlights for the 2017-18 season include, a return appearance on the Chicago Latino Music Festival, Guest Conductor in Guatemala City with the Montessori Canta Festival, and leading the CAO on tour of Mexico City with performances at the Catedral Metropolitana, Anfiteatro Simón Bolivar, and Sala Nezahualcóyotl at the invitation of the Universidad National Autónima de México.
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 has been 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.
Mendoza studied at Butler University with Henry Leck and received his master of music degree with distinction from the University of New Mexico where he was mentored by composer/conductor Bradley Ellingboe. While in New Mexico Mendoza was an apprentice conductor to Roger Melone, Resident Conductor of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. Mendoza will receive the Doctor of Arts degree from Ball State University in July 2017. At Ball State he studied with Bohuslav Rattay, Michael Hall and Doug Droste. Additional study was completed in Europe with Jorma Panula and at the conductor-training program of Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, with Maestro Gianluigi Gelmetti.