Álvarez, Javier, Mexican composer; b. Mexico City, May 8, 1956. He studied clarinet and composition with Mario La vista at the National Cons, of Music in Mexico City, and later composition with John Downey at the Univ. of Wise-Milwaukee (1980–82). Alvarez then studied composition and electronic music at the Royal Coll. of Music in London (1982), where he settled. In the 1980s, he divided his time between London and Mexico City, teaching composition and computer music technology; later he was a visiting prof. of composition at the Malmò Music Academy in Sweden and a Reader in Composition at the Univ. of Hertfordshire. He received the Austrian Prix Ars Electrónica for computer art in 1992. Alvarez is most noted for his electronic and computer music, but writes also for acoustic instruments. His short but infectiously melodic and rhythmic Metro Chabacano, in versions for String Orch. or String Quartet, has achieved wide popularity.
DRAMATIC Opera: Mambo (1993).ORCH.: Études for Winds and Strings (1981); Trireme for Horn and Orch. (1983); Yaotl for Orch., with 2 Guitars, Synthesizer, and Computer Tape (1987); Metro Chabacano for Strings (1987; also for String Quartet, 1991); Gramática de dos for Orch. and Synthesizer (1991); Música para piel y palangana for Percussion and Orch. (1993); Metro Taxqueña for Strings (1994); Cello Concerto (1995). CHAMBER: Ayara for Bassoon and String Quartet (1981); Lustral for Harp (1981); White Mirrors for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, and Harpsichord (1982); Característica for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Piano (1982); Ki bone gaku for Trombone and Marimba (1984); Trienios for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1985); Quemar de naves for Chamber Ensemble (1991); Acordeón de roto Corazón for Saxophone Quartet (1994); Serpiente y escalera for Cello and Piano (1995). VOCAL: Amor es más laberinto for 5 Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1978); Tres ranas contra reloj for Vocalise, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1981); Animal Crackers for 2 Sopranos, Baritone, Viola, and Piano (1990); Calacas imaginarias for Chorus and Tape (1994). ELECTROA–COUSTIC: Temazcal for Amplified Maracas and Tape (1984); Papaloti for Piano and Computer (1987); On Going On for Baritone Saxophone and Tape (1987); Acuerdos por diferencia for Harp and Computer (1989); Mambo a la Bracque for Tape (1990); Mannan for Kayagum and Electroacoustic Sounds (1992); Mambo vinko for Trombone and Tape (1993); Overture for Tape (1995).
—/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire