Monday, October 26, 2009

Javier Alvarez (1956-present)

Mexican composer. He studied the clarinet and composition in Mexico City before attending the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (MM 1982); in 1981 he moved to London, where he studied at the RCM and at City University (PhD 1993). He was a founding member and chair of the Sonic Arts Network, and artistic director of the SPNM (1995–6). From 1993 to 1997 he was lecturer and then reader at the University of Hertfordshire, and in 1997 was appointed professor of composition at the Malmö Conservatory. He has won numerous prizes for both his electro-acoustic and instrumental works, including the Prix Euphonie d’Or at Bourges (1992). Leading ensembles such as the Mexico PO, L’Itinéraire (Paris), the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group and Chicago Symphony New Music Ensemble have performed his works. His music combines the energy and rhythmic vitality of his Latin-American roots with elements of the European symphonic tradition. Characteristically, his harmonic language is consonant without being tonal. A large number of his works composed after 1982 (e.g. Papalotl, Asi el acero and Mannam) skilfully combine solo instruments with electro-acoustic sounds derived from the instrument’s timbre.

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