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UNM Offers Homage to Renowned Mexican Composer Mario Lavista

The UNM Latin American Music Center has arranged a series of public events in homage to renowned Mexican composer Mario Lavista, honoring him on his seventieth birthday.

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Mexican composer, pianist, intellectual, editor, and teacher, Lavista is regarded as a central figure in the contemporary music scene of his native country Mexico. A prolific composer of orchestral, stage, chamber, solo, and electronic pieces, his oeuvre is characterized by its intersections with the other arts. His music shows an integration of modernist avant-garde trends of both European and American music, while adopting compositional techniques of diverse historical periods of Western art traditions. He has maintained an active performance career, especially in collective improvisations using prepared piano.

Lavista's role as intellectual has been shaped mainly through the series of lecture-recitals he regularly organizes as member of El Colegio Nacional-a prestigious government-funded institution intended to foster cultural and intellectual activities of an intellectual elite. Moreover, he is founder and director of one of the most renowned music journals in Mexico, Pauta: Cuadernos de Teoría y Crítica Musical, which promotes multidisciplinary dialogues, especially among writers, painters and musicians, and has a strong emphasis on contemporary music. Lavista has been teaching at the Conservatorio Nacional since 1970, where his role as educator and mentor has been particularly relevant for "practically all Mexican composers that are younger than he is," according to Luis Jaime Cortez.

Lavista comes to UNM not only as a highly-regarded composer, but also as a representative of cultural matters in Latin America and as an influential member of Mexico's intellectual circle.

Throughout the world, institutions have organized events to honor Lavista on his 70th birthday. The University of New Mexico has the privilege of being the only institution of higher education in the United States to do so. The UNM Latin American Music Center and campus and community partners invite all to join them in celebrating Lavista on his 70th birthday. Below are details concerning the varied events which will pay tribute to Lavista:

  • OCT 29 / 6:30 - 7:45 pm / CFA Room 1111
    Lecture by Dr. Ana Alonso Minutti, musicologist: "Mario Lavista and the Contemporary Mexican Cultural Scene."
  • OCT 30 / 6:30 - 7:45 pm / Willard Room, Zimmerman Library
    Public Interview with Composer Mario Lavista: "Fifty Years of Musical Intersections with the Arts."
  • OCT 31 / 6:30 - 7:45 pm / Keller Hall
    Mario Lavista 70 años / 70th Birthday Concert Celebration
    Music Department and Guests: Ian Broday, Cármelo de los Santos, Arlene DeYoung Ward, Kim Fredenburgh, Ingela Onstad, José Luis Hurtado, Valerie Potter, David Schepps, Kevin Vigneau
  • NOV 1 / 11:00 - 11:50 am / CFA Room 1111
    Composer's Colloquium: "Music Composition and Beyond."

This tribute to Lavista is organized by Dr. José Luis Hurtado, Assistant Professor in the UNM Department of Music, with support from Dr. Ana Alonso-Minutti, Assistant Professor in the Department of Music. It is sponsored by the UNM Latin American Music Center (LAMC), an emergent campus entity which, in addition to promoting speakers and concerts on campus, aims to bridge university, local, and regional arts initiatives in order to reach a broader public. The LAMC draws upon the expertise of the many Latin Americanist faculty in the music department, including Hurtado, Alonso-Minutti, Dr. Jorge Perez-Gomez, Dr. Carmelo de los Santos, and Dr. Kevin Vigneau.

For more information concerning the events which offer tribute to Lavista, see the UNM College of Fine Arts website.

Image: Photograph of artist; reprinted from the Recording Consort blog.

--Posted Monday, October 28, 2013, with excerpts from the College of Fine Arts website.