carlos stella was born in buenos aires, argentina. self-taught in composition, he studied piano at the buenos aires national conservatory of music and in 1985 he was invited by krzysztof penderecki to the cracow academy of music. back in buenos aires he received other scholarships from the fondo nacional de las artes and the fundación antorchas and began to work for the teatro del sur with director alberto félix alberto. his style is notable for combining multiple elements of heterogeneous musical traditions like gagaku, no and kabuki, sequences and tropes, kritis and ragam-tanam-pallavi, baroque and rococo, kebyar, military bands, piphat, circus music, gamelan, organa, tango, tibetan ritual music, etc. and for exploring the possibilities of variation, imitation, parody, montage, transcription, copy, quotation, paraphrase, trope and recurrence. typical is also his use of ideas like kaleidoscope, labyrinth, mosaic, spiral, echo and mirror.
the frog, the moon, buddha and I, after haikus by basho, issa, buson and shiki, for female voice and piano;
transformation of an own theme in another one by beethoven for three horns;
pieces for orchestra with mirrors and a countertenor;
trio: or, commedia for oboe, bass trumpet and tuba;
quartet: pastiches, parodies and variations on two themes by stravinsky and berio for piccolo clarinet, trombone, xylorimba and vibraphone;
sinfonia containing various themes which may or may not be recognized by the listener; with many parodies, imitations, variations and mere repetitions affecting them for 31 players;
duetto: a parody, a transcript and an imitation of beckett for bassoon and cello;
hockney's choclo: 10 variations, imitations and paraphrases on piazzolla's arrangement of the tango 'el choclo' after a picture by david hockney for accordion, piano, violin, electric guitar and bass;
adieu à venise, after a poem by georges perec, for female voice and accordion, written for eugenia visconti;
klavierstück in form eines aus mehreren ab- und umwandlungen, übertragungen und nachahmungen bekannter und unbekannter motive zusammengesetzten mosaiks for piano, written for sawami kiyoshi;
the indian post: a piece for wind orchestra based on a march by sousa after a south indian form written for the tokyio kosei wind orchestra;
15 movements from la muerte en marcha for orchestra; brahms im spiegelkabinett, for piccolo, violoncello and piano, written for the trio iama;
why do you smoke so much, lili? based on a play by tennessee williams, for accordion and piano, written for the duo lange-kiyoshi;
after all, vinnie, I am your mother! (a piece for two soloists and continuo, a string trio and kagebayashi), for english horn, trumpet, guitar, violin, viola, violoncello, countertenor and piano, written for the ensemble saitenblicke;
antigonai: an oper based on fragments by sophocles and hölderlin, for three choirs and a women trio, written for the berliner cappella.
stella wrote music for theatre plays like alberto félix alberto's tango varsoviano and en los zaguanes ángeles muertos and tulio stella's europa y el toro, all directed by alberto in teatro del sur; tres obras breves y modernas by tulio stella, dos piezas breves de samuel beckett by césar repetto, tríptico de exilio by sergio de loof, clowns by daniel gentile, etc.; for the film la pasión según san juan by narcisa hirsch and for videos like mañana by lilian morello.
he lives in berlin, germany, since 1999.