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August 2014
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Today’s Mexican Composer

Mario Lavista, born in Mexico City, 1943

Mario Lavista, born in Mexico City, 1943

Sunday at 3:00 pm

This week, WFMT’s Fiesta!, the popular Latin American music series hosted by Elbio Barilari, zeros in on the new music scene in Mexico. Of course there have been a number of prominent composers to come out of Mexico, like Carlos Chávez, Manuel Ponce, and Silvestre Revueltas. There has also been a renewed enthusiasm for the Mexican Baroque, which is evident at early music festivals – but this week’s show looks at the living.

Federico Ibarra

Federico Ibarra, born in Mexico City, 1946


Leonardo Coral, born in Mexico City, 1962










This week Elbio Barilari presents a series of pieces by some of Mexico’s top composers today. He recently answered some questions about Mexico’s new music scene:


Composer and WFMT program host Elbio Barilari

You’re doing a show on living Mexican composers. Do they sound Mexican to you or are we so well-connected today that regional flavors have been minimized? 

Some of the Mexican pieces included in this program are based on elements of the native and popular music from their country, yes. Some others don’t, however, they are not less Mexican than the others. I also would say that pieces that do present elements of Mexican native and/or folkloric music are not less “universal” for that reason.


Manuel de Elías, born in 1939, founded the Music Institute at the University of Veracruz and the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra

Who do you think are the most promising of these composers? Are they getting performances outside of Mexico?

Fortunately, they are all very famous, they passed longtime ago the state of promises. They all get performances in Mexico and overseas. Mario Lavista, for example, is one of the most well-respected living composers around the world. With names such as Manuel Ponce, Silvestre Revueltas, and Carlos Chávez, Mexico has been a musical powerhouse in the past and there are several world-class Mexican living composers right now.

In April, WFMT’s Seth Boustead traveled to Mexico City to sample the new music scene. Listen to the programs: Part 1 and Part 2.

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