Mata, Eduardo

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Mata, Eduardo

Mata, Eduardo, Mexican conductor and composer; b. Mexico City, Sept. 5, 1942; d. in an airplane crash in Cuernavaca, Jan. 4, 1995. He studied composition with Halffter at the National Cons, of Mexico City (1954–60), then took lessons in composition and conducting with Chavez (1960–65) and Orbón (1960–63) there. In 1964 he went to the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he attended conducting seminars led by Rudolf, Schuller, and Leinsdorf. He was conductor of the Mexican Ballet Co. (1963–64), the Guadalajara Sym. Orch. (1964–66), and the Phil. Orch. of the National Univ. of Mexico (1966–76). From 1970 to 1978 he was principal conductor of the Phoenix (Ariz.) Sym. Orch. Mata served as music director of the Dallas Sym. Orch. from 1977 to 1993. He also appeared as a guest conductor with leading orchs. throughout North America and Europe. In 1990 he became principal guest conductor of the Pittsburgh Sym. Orch. At the beginning of his career, he was active as a composer; however, he virtually abandoned composition after 1970. Among his works were 3 syms. (1962; 1963; 1966–67), the ballet music Débora (1963), and chamber music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire