This Friday, August 2 from 11 am to 1 pm, join me, Sebastián Zubieta, as we remember the music of Carlos Chávez, the most famous Mexican composer of the past century, who died 35 years ago this day.
Mexico went through a cataclysmic revolution in the 1910s and during the '20s, and artists became interested in issues of national identity with renewed imagination and energy. They explored the real or imagined arts of the pre-Hispanic past at the same time that they engaged the most up-to-date international avant-gardes.
Chávez, born in Mexico City in 1899, came of age in this particularly turbulent and culturally rich moment in his country's history. During the 1920s, he traveled in Europe and spent two years in New York, where he established long-lasting friendships with some of the leading figures in experimental music. Upon his return to Mexico, Chávez became director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Mexicana and director of Mexico's National Conservatory of Music.
During the show, we enjoy Chavez’s chamber pieces, many from the superb, Grammy-winning four-CD set released by Southwest Chamber Music a few years ago, plus piano and orchestral music, as well as compositions by Chávez’s colleagues Silvestre Revueltas and Manuel Ponce.
Have a strong memory about hearing Chávez's music? Share it in the comments section below.