Monday, October 26, 2009

Eduardo Mata (1942-1995)

Mexican composer and conductor. Mexican conductor and composer. He studied with Carlos Chávez, Rodolfo Halffter, Orbón and Moncayo at the National Conservatory. After some youthful compositions (Trío a Vaughan Williams, Cantata fúnebre), he produced several pieces based on Classical and Romantic models as part of his training with Chávez (Sinfonía clásica, Sinfonía romántica, songs). Mature compositions include a 12-note piano sonata, the three Improvisaciones, the Cello Sonata and the Symphony no.3, all written in an atonal, partly aleatory style that made use of extended instrumental techniques. From 1965 he directed the music department of the University of Mexico (whose orchestra he founded and conducted, 1966–7); he also conducted the Guadalajara SO (1965–6), the Phoenix SO, Arizona (1975–8), and the Dallas SO (1977–93) and was guest conductor for numerous orchestras throughout the world. He made over 70 recordings with the Dallas SO, the LSO, the New Philharmonia Orchestra, the Solistas de México and Venezuela's Orquesta Sinfónica ‘Simón Bolívar’, winning two Grammy nominations. As a conductor he focussed on 20th-century music from Russia, France, Spain, Latin America and the USA, and, after 1982, also on opera and early music. His conducting was praised for its transparency, clarity and precision. In 1974 he received the Elias Sourasky Prize from the Mexican government and in 1984 became a member of Mexico's Colegio Nacional.

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