Ponce, Manuel (1886–1948)

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Ponce, Manuel (1886–1948)

Manuel Ponce (b. 8 December 1886; d. 14 April 1948), composer and pianist, born in Fresnillo, Mexico. Ponce studied at the National Conservatory in Mexico City, at Liceo Rossini in Bologna, and the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. He taught piano at the Mexican Conservatory (1909–1915 and 1917–1922), founded the periodical Revista Musical de México (1919), and directed the National Symphony Orchestra briefly in 1917. He spent a year as professor of folk music at the National Free University of Mexico (1933–1934), promoting Mexican criollo and mestizo music and the native Cuban music he absorbed during his stay there from 1915 to 1917. In Paris (1925–1933) he worked with Paul Dukas and founded the music journal Gaceta Musical; after returning to Mexico he published the journal Cultura Musical. He served brief terms as director of the National Conservatory and of the music department of the Free University. Ponce's music reveals, in addition to native influences, leanings toward the impressionism of Debussy, Ravel, and Dukas. His best-known composition remains the popular song "Estrellita," but he is also known for his Mexican symphonic poem Chapúltepec (1921), a violin concerto, and salon pieces for solo piano.

See alsoMusic: Art Music .


Robert Stevenson, Music in Mexico: A Historical Survey (1952).

Additional Bibliography

Barrón Corvera, Jorge. Manuel María Ponce: A Bio-Bibliography. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.

Miranda, Ricardo. Manuel M. Ponce: Ensayo sobre su vida y obra. México: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1998.

                                      Robert L. Parker