Estrada, Julio, Mexican composer, theoretician, historian, and pedagogue; b. Mexico City (of exiled Spanish parents), April 10, 1943. He studied in Mexico with del Castillo, de Elias, de Tercero, and Julian Orbon (1955–63), in Germany with Gerhard Muench (1963–65), and in Paris (1965–69) with Boulanger, Barraine, Raffi Ourgandjian, Messiaen, Jean E. Marie, Pousseur, and Xenakis; then returned briefly to Germany, where he studied with Stockhausen at the Kolner Kurse fiir Neue Musik and with Ligeti at the Darmstadter Musikferienkurse. Upon his return to Mexico in 1970, he worked at Radio Universidad. He created several new-music ensembles, including Pro-Musica Nueva and Compania Musical de Repertorio Nuevo, introducing to Mexico the works of Cage, Ligeti, Oliveros, Riley, Stockhausen, and others. From 1973 he taught in the Escuela Nacional de Mnsica at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. He was the first full-time music researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas (from 1976) and the first music scholar to be appointed by the Mexican Education Ministry as Investigador Nacional (1984–87; 1987–90). He was general ed. of La musica de Mexico (10 vols., 1984); he also publ. a collection of essays on new Latin American and Mexican music, Reunion entre Hemps (1990). His work with Jorge Gil in the Finite Group’s Theory and Boolean Algebra Applications in Music (resulting in Musica y teorid de Grupos Finitos, 3 variables booleanas ) was the first instance in Mexico in which musicians used computers as both a theoretical and a precompositional tool. Estrada also posited his general theory of intervallic cycles as a hierarchical system applied to musical systems based on scales in his El espectro intervdlico, una teoria general de la intervdlica y sus aplicaciones al estudio precomposicional y al and lisis musical del gregoriano a la musica actual (1990). He conceives of musical composition as a field where new solutions can be obtained from an objective order and organization according to its inner characteristics of discontinuity or continuity; his own compositions demand the invention of new technical and theoretical models coming out of “the primordial needs of fantasy,” Profoundly political, Estrada identifies the act of composition with the act of liberation, with “the permissiveness of musical ideas becoming at the same time the powerful exigency of a true, almost phonographic representation of each detail belonging to sounds already internally experienced”
Persona (1969); Solo (1970); Memorias, para teclado (1971); Melodica (1973); Canto mnemico, fuga en 4 dimensiones (1973; rev. 1983); Canto tejido for Piano (1974); Canto nadente for 3 Trumpets, 2 Cornets, 2 Trombones, and Tuba (1975–78); Canto oculto for Violin (1977); Canto alterno for Cello (1978); Diario for 15 Stringed Instruments (1980); eua’on I for Tape (1981) and II for Orch. (1983); eolo’oolin for 6 Percussionists (1981–82); yuunohui’yei for Cello (1983); ishini’ioni for String Quartet (1984–90); yuunohui’nahui for Double Bass (1985); yuunohui’ce for Violin (1990); yuunohui’ome for Viola (1990).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire