THE LIVING COMPOSERS PROJECT  

Mario Lavista

(b. 3 April 1943, Mexico City).

Mexican composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, vocal, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a writer.

Prof. Lavista is the nephew of the composer Raúl Lavista (b. 1912 – d. 1980). He studied piano with Adelina Benítez and Francisco Gyves in Mexico City as a child. He studied analysis with Rodolfo Halffter and composition with Carlos Chávez and Héctor Quintanar at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City from 1963–67, on a grant from the Secretaría de Educación Pública in Mexico City. He then studied analysis with Jean-Étienne Marie at the Schola Cantorum in Paris from 1967–69, on a scholarship from the government of France. He also attended a seminar on analysis with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in 1968, courses with Christoph Caskel, Henri Pousseur and Karlheinz Stockhausen at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne in 1968 and the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt in 1969, where he encountered György Ligeti.

Among his honours are the Diosa de Plata from the Asociación de Periodistas y Críticos de Cine (1978, for Flores de papel, shared with Raúl Lavista), a grant from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (1987–88), the Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes in Mexico (1991), the Medalla Mozart in Mexico (1991), and the Diploma de la Unión Mexicana de Cronistas de Teatro y Música (1999, for his œuvre). In addition, he has been a member of the Academia de Artes de México in Mexico City since 1987, an emeritus composer of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores del Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) since 1993 and a member of El Colegio Nacional in Mexico City since 1998.

As a writer, he has contributed articles and essays to numerous publications, many of which appear in Mario Lavista: textos en torno a la música (1988, second edition, 1990, edited by Luis Jaime Cortez, CENIDIM). His other writings include the lecture El Lenguaje del músico (1999, El Colegio Nacional). He founded the music journal Talea at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City in 1975 and served as its editor in 1975–76. He later founded the music journal Pauta in Mexico in 1982 and has served as its editor since 1982.

Prof. Lavista is also active in other positions. He founded the improvisational ensemble Quanta in 1970 and performed as its pianist from 1970–73. He worked at the studio for electronic music of the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City in 1970 and the studio for electronic music of NHK in Tōkyō in 1971–72. He has been a member of the board of editors of Ediciones Mexicanas de Música since 1979 and a regular collaborator with the Ballet Nacional de México in Mexico City since 1988. He co-founded the Asociación de Amigos del Museo Nacional del Virreinato in Tepotzotlán in 1988 and served as a musical advisor to the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes in Mexico City from 1990–98 and to the Instituto Cultural Domecq in Mexico City from 1994–98.

He taught music appreciation and 20th-century music at the Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México from 1965–67, where he later served as chair of the department of music of its Dirección de Difusión Cultural from 1974–76. He has taught as a professor of analysis of 20th-century music and composition at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City since 1970. He taught analysis, contemporary music, harmony, and musical culture at the music school Vida y Movimiento of the Centro Cultural Ollin Yoliztli in Mexico City from 1980–88.

In addition to the works listed below, Prof. Lavista has composed music for many TV productions and his music has often been used as the basis for dance productions.

CONTACT INFORMATION

E-mail address: mariolavista@hotmail.com

SELECT LIST OF WORKS

STAGE:

Passion, Poison, and Petrifaction (incidental music, play by George Bernard Shaw), 1961

Poesía en movimiento (spectacle, direction by Salvador Flores Rivera), 1969

Fröken JulieMiss Julie (incidental music, play by August Strindberg), 1975

The Fall of the House of Usher (incidental music, play by Edgar Allan Poe), 1977

The Innocents (incidental music, play by William Archibald), 1977

La JacassièreFue una historia de amor (incidental music, play by Gilbert Léautier [translated by Gérald Huillier]), 1979

Historias como cuerpos (dance music, choreography by Lidia Romero), fixed media, 1980

Hécuba, la perra (music for puppet show by Hugo Hiriart), 1982

Aura (opera in 1 act, libretto by Juan Tovar, after Carlos Fuentes), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass, large orchestra, 1987–88 (a concert suite was arranged as Aura, Paráfrasis orquestal de la ópera)

ORCHESTRAL:

Seis Pequeñas piezas para orquesta de cuerdas, string orchestra, 1965

Continuo, piano, prepared piano, small orchestra (4 French horns, 3 trombones, tuba, 4 percussion, strings), 1971

Lyhannh, large orchestra, 1976

Ficciones, large orchestra, 1980

Reflejos de la noche, string orchestra, 1986 (version of work for string quartet)

Aura, Paráfrasis orquestal de la ópera, large orchestra, 1989 (concert suite from Aura)

Clepsidra, large orchestra, 1990–91

Lacrymosa, a la memoria de Gerhart Muench, large orchestra, 1992

Tropo para Sor Juana (sobre el Sanctus de la Misa a Nuestra Señora del Consuelo), large orchestra, 1995

CHAMBER MUSIC:

Cinco Piezas, string quartet, 1965

Divertimento, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 5 woodblocks (5 players), 3 shortwave radios (3 operators), 1968

Diacronía (string quartet no. 1), 1969

Kronos, 15 or more alarm clocks (15 or more operators), 1969

Game, 1 or more flutes, 1971

Diálogos, violin, piano, 1974

Antifonía, flute, 2 bassoons, 2 percussion, 1974

Quotations, cello, piano, 1976

Talea, music box, 1976

Trío, violin, cello, piano, 1976

Pieza para caja de música, music box, 1977

Canto del alba, flute, 1979

Dusk, double bass, 1980

Cante, 2 guitars, 1980

Motete a dos voces, music box, 1981

Danza bucólica, music box, 1981

Lamento a la muerte de Raúl Lavista, bass flute, amplification ad libitum, 1981

Nocturno, alto flute, 1982

Marsias, oboe (with 8 crystal glasses), 1982

Reflejos de la noche (string quartet no. 2), 1984 (also version for string orchestra)

Cuicani, flute, clarinet, 1985

Madrigal, clarinet, 1985

Ofrenda, tenor recorder, 1986

Vals, flute, clarinet, string quartet, 1986

Responsorio in memoriam Rodolfo Halffter, bassoon, 4 tubular bells (1 player), 2 bass drums (1 player), 1988

El Pífano: retrato de Manet, piccolo, 1989

Cuaderno de viaje, viola/cello, 1989

Cadencias para el Concierto en si bemol mayor para fagot de Mozart, bassoon, 1990

Las Músicas dormidas, clarinet, bassoon, piano, 1990–91

Danza de la Bailarinas de Dégas, flute, piano, 1991–92

Cinco Danzas breves, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1994

Tres Danzas seculares, cello, piano, 1994

Música para mi vecino (string quartet no. 3), 1995

Sinfonías (string quartet no. 4), 1996

Danza isorrítmica, 4 percussion, 1996

Natarayah, guitar, 1997

Octeto, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, 1997

Siete Invenciones (string quartet no. 5), 1998

Suite en cinco partes (string quartet no. 6), 1999

Fanfarria para un concurso, 4 French horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, tubular bells, bass drum, 1999

Estudio, 4 marimbas, 2000

Tres Miniaturas, guitar, 2000

Tres Bagatelas, violin, viola, cello, 2001

Una Jaula para Sirius, prepared piano, percussion, 2002

Elegía a la memoria de Nacho, flute, piano, 2003

CHORAL:

Homenaje a Beckett (text by José Emilio Pacheco), 3 amplified mixed choruses, 1968

Missa Brevis ad Consolationis Dominam Nostram, mixed chorus, 1994–95 (also shorter version by Carmen Helena Téllez for 4 mixed voices, flute, clarinet, viola, double bass, 1998)

Gargantúa (text by François Rabelais [Spanish translation]), speaker, children's chorus, large orchestra, 2002

VOCAL:

Monólogo (text by Nikolai Gogol [Spanish translation]), baritone, flute, double bass, vibraphone, 1966

Dos Canciones (text by Octavio Paz), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1966

Tres Canciones (texts by Bai Juyi, Li Shangyin [both translated by Marcela San Juan, Gabriel Zaid]), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1983

Hacia el comienzo (text by Octavio Paz), mezzo-soprano, large orchestra, 1984

Tres Nocturnos (texts by Álvaro Mutis, Rubén Bonifaz Nuño), mezzo-soprano, large orchestra, 1985–86

Pañales y sonajas (Lullaby for Elisa), mezzo-soprano, prepared piano, 1999

PIANO:

Pieza para un(a) pianista y un piano, 1970

Cluster, piano (any number of players), 1973

Diafonía, 2 pianos (+ percussion) (1 player), 1973

Cadencias para el primer y tercer movimientos del Concierto en mi bemol para dos pianos y orquesta de Mozart, 1974

Pieza para dos pianistas y un piano, piano (2 players), 1975

Jaula, 1 or more prepared pianos, 1976

Tango del adulterio, 1979

Simurg, 1980

Nocturno en mi bemol Op. 55 núm. 3 (Posth.), 1980

Correspondencias, 1983

Tres Acrósticos nocturnos, 1983

Canon for Jo, 1999

Pieza para piano (sobre un modo balinés), 2003

ORGAN:

Mater dolorosa, 2000

ELECTROACOUSTIC:

Espaces trop habités, fixed media, 1969

Alme, fixed media, 1971

Contrapunto, fixed media, 1972

FILM SCORES (DIRECTOR):

Judea, Semana Santa entre los coras, 1973 (Nicolás Echevarría)

Flores de papel, 1978 (Gabriel Retes; collaboration with Raúl Lavista)

María Sabina, mujer espíritu, 1978 (Nicolás Echevarría)

Niño Fidencio, el taumaturgo de Espinazo, 1980 (Nicolás Echevarría)

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 1988 (Nicolás Echevarría)

Cabeza de Vaca, 1991 (Nicolás Echevarría)

Eclipse, 1991 (Nicolás Echevarría)

Vivir mata, 2002 (Nicolás Echevarría)