Mercedes Zavala (Madrid 1963), studied piano and composition at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid and in London with Malcolm Singer. She also has a degree in Philosophy from UNED, with a certificate in research competence in Aesthetics. In 1989 she began her career as a composer, one she has continued to the present day along with her teaching work, with frequent forays into performance, research, promotion and music management.
In the 1990s she taught harmony at the RCSMM, transposed the Traité de la Fugue by André Gedalge (published by Real Musical), frequently debuted her own compositions and conducted research into African music, travelling to Senegal.
In the 2000s she promoted the repertoire of women composers, joining the Board of the Feminist Research Institute of the Madrid UCM, developing gender-focused research projects, teaching courses and master's degree programs. She was the president of the Asociación Mujeres en la Música, launching the Music and Gender Educational Project, and she collaborated with RNE, making the program "Álbum de Canciones".
She is currently Head of the Composition Faculty at the CPM Teresa Berganza in Madrid and teaches Foundations of Composition, Harmony, Analysis and Music of the 20th Century. She has been Deputy Director of this Conservatory twice.
Her works have featured in Spanish performance programs continuously since 1999, as she has received commissions from most festivals and concert cycles, and is frequently invited to act as a consultant and jury member at composing and performance contests. Her scores are heard in numerous countries, contributing to the growing international reach of her work, which is celebrated in various monographic concerts. She is currently working on several projects, including commissions from institutions and performers in Spain, Italy and the USA.