Lavista, Mario (b. April 3, 1943, Mexico City). Esteemed 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 Secretaria de Educación Pública. 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 an analysis seminar 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 Darmstadt in 1969, where he encountered György Ligeti. In addition, he worked at the electronic music studio of the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City in 1970 and of NHK in Tokyo in 1971-72.
Among his many honors 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 Guggenheim Foundation (1987-88), the Premio Nacional de Artes y Ciencias (1991), and the Medalla Mozart (1991). In addition, he was named an emeritus composer by the Sistema Nacional de Creadores del Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) (1993) and has received the Diploma de la Unión Mexicana de Cronistas de Teatro y Música (1999, for his entire oeuvre). For recordings of his music, he has received the award for best classical album of the year from the journal Viceversa (1998, for Missa Brevis ad Consolationis Dominam Nostram) and a Grammy nomination (1999, shared with the other composers featured on the CRI recording Voces Americanas). He has been a member of the Academia de Artes de México since 1987 and El Colegio Nacional 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, CENIDIM, edited by Luis Jaime Cortez, second edition, 1990). 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 1975 and edited it in 1975-76 and later founded the influential music journal Pauta in 1982 and has since served as its editor.
Prof. Lavista is also active in other positions. He founded the improvisational ensemble Quanta in 1970 and performed as a microtonal pianist with it from 1970-73. 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 since 1988. He also co-founded the Asociación de Amigos del Museo Nacional de Virreinato in 1988 and served as a musical advisor to the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes from 1990-98 and to the Instituto Cultural Domecq from 1994-98. In addition, he has organized numerous events on Mexican music and served on many panels.
He taught music appreciation and 20th-century music at the Casa del Lago of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México from 1965-67, where he later served as chair of the music department 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 Vida y Movimiento music school of the Conjunto Cultural Ollin Yoliztli in Mexico City from 1980-88. He has also frequently lectured and participated in forums, seminars, symposia, and workshops in the Americas and Europe and taught as a composer-in-residence or visiting professor at Indiana University, the University of Chicago, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Wisconsin.
In addition to the works listed below, Prof. Lavista has composed music for many TV productions and his music has been used as the basis of numerous dance productions.
E-mail address: email@example.com
Street address: Prof. Mario Lavista, Yautepec 24, Colonia Condesa, CP 06140, Mexico, D.F.
Telephone: 5255 5553 2815
Telephone/fax: 5255 5553 5257
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), 1969; Miss Julia (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; Fue una historia de amor (incidental music, play by Gilbert Léautier), 1979; Historias como cuerpos (dance music, choreography by Lidia Romero), tape, 1980; Hécuba, la perra (music for puppet show by Hugo Hiriart), 1982; Aura (1 act opera, libretto by Juan Tovar, after Carlos Fuentes), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass, large orchestra, 1987-88 (a 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 string quartet no. 2); Aura, Paráfrasis orquestal de la ópera, large orchestra, 1989 (suite from opera); 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 short-wave 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
CHAMBER MUSIC: 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 Nikolay Gogol [Spanish translation]), baritone, flute, double bass, vibraphone, 1966; Dos Canciones (text by Octavio Paz), mezzo-soprano, piano, 1966; Tres Canciones (texts by Bai Ju-yi, Li Shang-yin [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, 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, tape, 1969; Alme, tape, 1971; Contrapunto, tape, 1972
FILM SCORES (DIRECTOR): Judea, Semana Santa entre los coras, 1973 (Nicolás Echevarría); Flores de papel, 1977 (Gabriel Retes; collaboration with Raúl Lavista); María Sabina, mujer espíritu, 1981 (Nicolás Echevarría); Niño Fidencio, el taumaturgo de Espinazo, 1982 (Nicolás Echevarría); Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, 1988 (Nicolás Echevarría); Cabeza de Vaca, 1990 (Nicolás Echevarría); Eclipse, 1991 (Nicolás Echevarría); Vivir mata, 2002 (Nicolás Echevarría)
(Last updated on January 15, 2004)