updated 22 August 2011

Mario Lavista

Mexican composer born 3 April 1943 in Mexico City.

Mario Lavista was born in Mexico in 1943. He started out studying piano, and then from 1963 to 1967 studied analysis and composition with Carlos Chávez and Rodolfo Halffter at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City. In 1967, he traveled to Paris to continue his studies at the Schola Cantorum with Jean-Etienne Marie, where he remained until 1969. He also attended lectures by Nadia Boulanger in 1968, as well as taking classes with Henri Pousseur and Karlheinz Stockhausen at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne in 1968 and in Darmstadt in 1969, where he met György Ligeti.

In 1970 Lavista returned to Mexico, where he founded the improvisational group Quanta. His first compositions explored the concept of chance. He worked in the electronic music studio of the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City, and then in the NHK studio in Tokyo from 1971-1972. He collaborated with artists from other disciplines such as Arnaldo Coen in Cluster (1973) and Jaula (1976), and the filmmaker Nicolás Echevarría, for whom he composed numerous film scores.

In the 1980s, Lavista embarked on a major exploration of timbre, leading to the composition of a large number of works for solo and chamber instruments. He worked in collaboration with the performers of these pieces, in which he sought to expand instrumental technique. These included Dusk for double bass (1980), Marsias for oboe with wine glasses (1982), and Reflejos de la noche (1984), a quartet written for the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, which would go on to record his six string quartets (on the Toccata label, 2011). He continued writing solo and chamber pieces in the ensuing decades, interspersed with pieces for large orchestra – Clepsidra (1990-1991), Lacrymosa (1992), Tropo para Sor Juana (1995) - vocal pieces – Pañales y sonajas for mezzo-soprano and prepared piano (1999), Salmo, for soprano and double bass (2006) – and a musical theater piece based on Rabelais’ Gargantúa (2002), as well as a concertante work, Concierto para cello y orquesta (2010).

He has received numerous awards and honors, including the 1978 Diosa de Plata from the Asociación de Periodistas y Críticos de Cine; a Guggenheim fellowship for Aura (1988), an opera based on a short story by Carlos Fuentes; the 1991 Premio Nacional de Artes y Ciencias from the Government of Mexico, and the Mozart Medal of the Austrian Embassy. He was named a composer emeritus by the Sistema Nacional de Creadores del Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) in 1993, and received an honorary degree for lifetime achievement from the Unión Mexicana de Cronistas de Teatro y Música. The journal Viceversa named his Missa Brevis ad Consolationis Dominam Nostram best classical album of the year in 1998 and the album Voces Americanas, which includes Quotations (1976) was nominated for a Grammy in 1999. Lavista was named to the Mexico Academy of Arts in 1987 and to the country’s Colegio Nacional in 1998.

Lavista is also a prolific writer, and founded the journal Pauta in 1982, which went on to become one of Latin America’s foremost musical journals, and of which he remains the editorial director. He also teaches widely, both at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City and numerous other institutions, including the University of Chicago, Cornell University, the University of California at San Diego, Indiana University, and McGill University.


© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2011

Sources

Mario Lavista.

Catalog sources and details

Mario Lavista.

Autres compositions
pour la télévision :
  • Las puertas del tiempo (Nicolás Echevarría), 1992
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Nicolás Echevarría), 1988
  • México en la obra de Octavio Paz, (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1988
  • Arte contemporáneo (Octavio Paz, Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1989
  • Arte precolombino (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1989
  • Re / visiones. La pintura mural (Carlos Fuentes), 1989, 1996
  • El sol azteca (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1990
  • El enigma de los mayas (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1990
  • México a través de su arte, (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa),1990
  • Eclipse (Nicolás Echevarría), 1991
  • Diálogos en el espacio, 1992
  • Las puertas del tiempo (Nicolás Echevarría), 1992
  • Expedición a la violencia, 1994
  • Videodisco láser: Las puertas del tiempo, 1992
  • Formas en el tiempo (Julián Pablo, CONACULTA), 1998
  • El alma de México 1. Época prehispánica, (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2000
  • Los hijos del sol, (Televisa) 2001
  • El alma de México (Carlos Fuentes, Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2001
  • The down of Mesoamérica (Carlos Fuentes, Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2001
  • Paisaje de pirámides (Carlos Fuentes, Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2001
  • El alma de México (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2003

Catalog source(s)

Mario Lavista.

Autres compositions
pour la télévision :
  • Las puertas del tiempo (Nicolás Echevarría), 1992
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Nicolás Echevarría), 1988
  • México en la obra de Octavio Paz, (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1988
  • Arte contemporáneo (Octavio Paz, Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1989
  • Arte precolombino (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1989
  • Re / visiones. La pintura mural (Carlos Fuentes), 1989, 1996
  • El sol azteca (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1990
  • El enigma de los mayas (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 1990
  • México a través de su arte, (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa),1990
  • Eclipse (Nicolás Echevarría), 1991
  • Diálogos en el espacio, 1992
  • Las puertas del tiempo (Nicolás Echevarría), 1992
  • Expedición a la violencia, 1994
  • Videodisco láser: Las puertas del tiempo, 1992
  • Formas en el tiempo (Julián Pablo, CONACULTA), 1998
  • El alma de México 1. Época prehispánica, (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2000
  • Los hijos del sol, (Televisa) 2001
  • El alma de México (Carlos Fuentes, Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2001
  • The down of Mesoamérica (Carlos Fuentes, Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2001
  • Paisaje de pirámides (Carlos Fuentes, Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2001
  • El alma de México (Héctor Tajonar, Televisa), 2003

Bibliographie

  • Ananay AGUILAR, « La circularidad en Aura, la ópera de Mario Lavista », Cuadernos de música, artes visuales y artes escénicas, vol. 1, n° 2, décembre 2006.
  • Mario LAVISTA, « From the composer’s Viewpoint: The dialogue between Music and Poetry », in Zenia Sacks DaSilva (dir.), The Hispanic Connection: Spanish and Spanish-American Literature in the Arts of the World, Greenwook publishing Group, Hofstra University, 2004, p. 295-298.
  • Aleks SYNTEK, Alex OTAOLA, Ely GUERRA, KALIMBA, Carlos PRIETO, Alex GONZALEZ, Mario LAVISTA, EMC X, Mexican Musician Introduction, Books LLC, 2010.
  • Jeannine WAGAR, « Harmonic Mirrors within Circular Time: a Study of Mario Lavista’s Ficciones », in Zenia Sacks DaSilva (dir.), The Hispanic Connection: Spanish and Spanish-American Literature in the Arts of the World, Greenwook publishing Group, Hofstra University, 2004, p. 299-302.

Discographie

  • Mario LAVISTA, « Complete String Quartets », n° 1. Diacronía ; n° 2. Reflejos de la noche ; n° 3. Música para mi vecino ; n° 4. Sinfonías ; n° 5. Siete invenciones ; n° 6. Suite en cinco partes, Cuarteto latinoamericano, 1 cd Toccata Classics, 2011.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Cinco danzas breves, dans « Anacrouse wind quintet (Danses 2) », quinette Anacrouse, avec des œuvres de Chostakovitch, Ravel, Debussy, Joplin, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, 1 cd Indésens, 2009.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Ofrenda, dans « Hypnos », Pierre Hamon : flûte, 1 cd Zig-Zag Territoires, 2009.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Gargantua, Orchestre de Picardie, direction : Edmon Colomer, 2 cd Triton, 2004.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Responsorio in memorian Rodolfo Halffter, dans « Bassoon Images From the Americas », Benjamin Coelho : basson, Adam Grosso et Daniel Moore : percussion, avec des œuvres de Heitor Villa-Lobos, Amelia Kaplan, John Steinmetz, Lawrence Fritts, Aylton Escobar et Francisco Mignone, 1 cd Albany Records, 2004.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Tres Bagatelas, dans « Noche De Alebrijes », Trio Coghlan, avec des œuvres de Eduardo Angulo, Federico Ibarra, Manuel Ponce et Horacio Uribe, 1 cd Urtext, 2004.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Quotations, dans « Voces Americanas », Christopher Adkins : violoncelle, Jo Boatright : piano, avec des œuvres de Robert Xavier Rodriguez, Roberto Sierra, Mario Davidovsky, Tania Leon, 1 cd Composers Recordings CRI, 2001, CR773.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Octeto, dans « Música para divertirse », Sinfonietta Ventus, direction : Carlos Miguel Prieto, avec des œuvres de Jean Français, Eugène Bozza et Eugenio Toussaint, 1 cd Urtext Records, 2000.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Natarayah, dans « Newdance. 18 dances for guitar », David Starobin : guitare, avec des œuvres de Stephen Jaffe, Jorge Morel, Elliott Carter, William Bland, Bent Sorensen, John Anthony Lennon, Steven Mackey, Richard Wernick, Apostolos Paraskevas, John W. Duarte, Milton Babbitt, Michael Starobin, Jonathan Harvey, Per Norgard, Poul Ruders, Paul Lansky et Bryan Johanson, 1 cd Bridge 1998, 9084.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Clepsidra, dans « Musica Sinfonica Mexicana », Unam Philharmonic Orchestra, direction : Horacio Franco, avec des œuvres de Silvestre Revueltas, Federico Ibarra, Gabriela Ortiz, Manuel Enriquez, Jose Pablo Moncayo Garcia, Joaquin Gutierrez, Heras Marcela Rodriguez, Arthur Marshall et Carlos Chavez, 2 cds Urtext Records, 1997.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Tres Danzas Seculares, dans « Espejos », Edison Quintana, direction : Carlos Prieto, avec des œuvres de Manuel de Falla, Ernesto Halffter, Tomas Marco, Joaquin Gutierrez Heras, Manuel del Castillo et Rodolfo Halffter, 1 cd Urtext Records, 1997.
  • Mario LAVISTA, Simurg, dans « Mexico. 100 Years of Piano Music », Max Lifchitz : piano, avec des œuvres de Ricardo Castro, Manuel Ponce, Carlos Chavez, Jose Pablo Moncayo Garcia, Rodolfo Halffter, Eduardo Hernandez Moncada, Blas Galindo, Marta Garcia-Renart et Manuel Enriquez, 1 cd North / South Record, 1996.
  • Mario LAVISTA, « Cuaderno de viaje » : Madrigal ; Marsias ; Lamento a la memoria de Raúl Lavista ; Cuaderno de viaje ; Cuicani ; Cante ; Responsorio in memoriam Rodolfo Halffter, Luis Humberto Ramos : clarinette, Roberto Kolb : hautbois, Marielena Arizpe : flûte basse, Maurizio Barbetti : alto, Wendy Holdaway : basson, Ricardo Gallardo et Alonso Mendoza : percussion, Dúo Castañón-Bañuelos : guitares, 1 cd Quindecim, 1994, QP056.