Monday, October 26, 2009

Hector Quintanar (1936-present)

Mexican composer and conductor. Mexican composer and conductor. He studied at the Escuela Superior Nocturna de Música (1950–56) and played the horn in the Banda de Música del Estado Mayor for eight years. In 1959 he entered the Mexico City Conservatory, where he studied harmony and analysis with Rodolfo Halffter, counterpoint with Blas Galindo and composition with Jiménez Mabarak; he also studied with Chávez (1960–64) and in 1963 served as Chávez’s assistant in the composition workshop, which from 1965 to 1972 he directed. A state grant enabled him to study electronic music at Columbia University, New York, with Andrés Lewin Richter (1964), and he studied musique concrète with Jean Etienne-Marie in Paris (1967) and Mexico City (1968). He was head of the Secretaría Técnica of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes music department (1965—70), within which he organized major festivals of contemporary music. Founder (1970) and director of the Mexico City Conservatory electronic music studio, he was also sub-director of the Mexico City Opera Orchestra. Other appointments as chief conductor include the National University SO (1975–80), the Michoacán SO (1986–7) and, since 1992, the University of Guanajuato SO, with whom he has recorded for the first time many works by Mexican composers. His conscientious activity as a promoter of new music has included giving concerts in unorthodox locations and, through his group Proa, bringing contemporary music to the church. His works from Aclamaciones (1967) have been concerned with non-linear sequences of contrasting materials, such as tape loops of natural sounds (Ostinato) and improvisatory or aleatory elements (Sideral III). He was the first Mexican to compose an electronic film score, that for Una vez un hombre.

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