Monday, October 26, 2009

Eduardo Hernandez Moncada (1899-1995)

Mexican composer and conductor. He studied in Mexico City with Rafael Tello, Joaquin Beristain, and Aurelio Barrios y Morales. He began his musical career as a pianist working in cinemas and cafes. In 1929, Chavez invited him to join the Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the National Conservatory. He served in the orchestra as a percussionist and pianist from 1929-1936, and from 1936-1943 as a conductor. While at the conservatory he taught a variety of classes and held a number of posts, until he retired in 1957. He also lectured in several other professional music educational programs. He directed the Opera Academy from 1947-1956, which launched works that had never been presented in Mexico before, such as; Milhaud Le pauvre matelot & Debussy’s L’enfant prodigue. He also translated the operas of The Visitors by Chavez, and the Dialogues des Carmelites by Poulenc, which he later directed the first Mexican performance of in 1959. He orchestrated many well-liked songs, and wrote compositions for ballets, plays, and films which included the film Enamorada. His work is placed in the Modernist period of Mexican music, and has nationalist values. His pieces of music are influenced by his home state of Veracruz with their melodies and themes. Noteworthy compositions include: his Symphony no.1 with its rhythm in a classical format, the opera Elena, his song Tres sonetos de sor Juana, and his piano piece Costena.

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