Eduardo Mata

Eduardo Mata (5 September 1942  4 January 1995) was a Mexican conductor and composer.

Eduardo Mata
Born(1942-09-05)September 5, 1942
DiedJanuary 4, 1995(1995-01-04) (aged 52)
Cuernavaca, Mexico
OccupationConductor, composer


Mata was born in Mexico City (Saavedra 2001). He studied guitar privately for three years before enrolling in the National Conservatory of Music. From 1960 to 1963 he studied composition under Carlos Chávez, Héctor Quintanar (es) and Julián Orbón (Saavedra 2001). In 1964 he received a Koussevitzky Memorial Fellowship to study at Tanglewood. There, he studied conducting with Max Rudolf and Erich Leinsdorf and composition with Gunther Schuller (Morehead and MacNeil 1991; Jacobs 1990; Delpar 1974, ; Rehrig 1991–96, 2:).

He composed several works in the 1950s and 1960s, including three symphonies and chamber works, which include a sonatas for piano and for cello and piano (Saavedra 2001). His Third Symphony and some of his chamber works have been recorded (Tardiff and Mabunda 1996).

In 1965 he was appointed head of the Music Department of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and conductor of the Guadalajara Orchestra (Kanellos 2003, ; Stevenson 2005b; Meyer 2001). He also conducted the orchestra at the University, which later became the National Autonomous University of Mexico Philarmonic Orchestra. In 1972, he left Mexico to take the position of principal conductor of the Phoenix Symphony. The next year he was appointed as the Phoenix ensemble's music director, holding that position through the 1977–78 season (Saavedra 2001; Dent 2002, 194–95).

In 1965, he was one of the founding members and later, Honorary President of the Mahler Mexico Society (Sociedad Mahler México) and together with the Mexico's National Symphony Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional), in October 1975 he conducted the first full cycle of Gustav Mahler's symphonies in Mexico.

From 1977 to 1993 he was music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Saavedra 2001). and guest conductor of several famous orchestras in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. He recorded over fifty albums, most of them with the UNAM Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He was also appointed as Principal Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and was about to take up this post in January 1995 when he was killed.

On the morning of 4 January 1995, Mata and a passenger were en route from Cuernavaca, Morelos to Dallas, Texas. Mata was piloting his own Piper Aerostar. One engine failed shortly after takeoff, and the plane crashed during an emergency landing attempt. Both died in the crash, near Mexico City (Kozinn 1995).

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Philip Spurgeon
Music Director, Phoenix Symphony
Succeeded by
Theo Alcantara
Preceded by
Max Rudolf
Music Director, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Andrew Litton

Selected compositions

  • Trio, for clarinet, drum, and cello, dedicated to Ralph Vaughan Williams (1957); OCLC 13364213
  • Sonata, for piano (1960)
  • Improvisaciones, for clarinet and piano (1961)
  • Symphony No. 1 (1962)
  • "Débora," ballet suite (1963)
  • Los huesos secos (The Dry Bones), ballet (1963)
  • Symphony No. 2 (1963)
  • Aires (1964); OCLC 50515055
  • Improvisación número 1, for string quartet and piano four-hands (1964)
  • Improvisación número 2, for strings and two pianos (1965); OCLC 25201695
  • Improvisación número 3, for violin and piano (1965); OCLC 2041840
  • Sonata, for cello (1966), dedicated to Adolfo Odnoposoff
  • Symphony No. 3, for winds and horn (1966); OCLC 20916143

Selected discography

Mata compositions


  • Delpar, Helen (ed.). 1974. Encyclopedia of Latin America. New York: McGraw-Hill. OCLC 1110804.
  • Dent, David W. 2002. Encyclopedia of Modern Mexico. Historical Dictionaries of Latin America Series. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810842915 OCLC 49284080.
  • Jacobs, Arthur. 1990. "Mata, Eduardo". The Penguin Dictionary of Musical Performers. London: Viking Press. ISBN 9780670807550. OCLC 21080776.
  • Kanellos, Nicolas. 2003. The Hispanic American Almanac: A Reference Work on Hispanics in the United States, third edition. New York: Gale Research. OCLC 50149500.
  • Kozinn, Allan. 1995. "Eduardo Mata Is Dead at 52; Conducted the Dallas Symphony". The New York Times (5 January): B10. Reprinted in The New York Times Biographical Service 26, no. 1:16. Ann Arbor: UMI Co.. ISSN 0161-2433.
  • Meyer, Nicholas E. 2001. . Biographical Dictionary of Hispanic Americans, second edition. Facts on File library of American History. New York: Checkmark Books. ISBN 9780816043309; ISBN 9780816043316.
  • Morehead, Philip, and Anne MacNeil. 1991. [title (presumably a bio article on Mata] The New American Dictionary of Music. New York: E. P. Dutton.
  • Rehrig, William Harold. 1991–96. The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Composers and Their Music, edited by Paul E. Bierley. 3 vols. (Mata in Vol. 2 of 3). Westerville, OH: Integrity Press. ISBN 9780918048080; ISBN 9780918048127. OCLC 24606813.
  • Saavedra, Leonora. 2001. "Mata, (Jaime) Eduardo (Vladimiro)". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Stevenson, Joseph. 2005a. "Dallas Symphony Orchestra". All Music Guide to Classical Music, edited by Chris Woodstra, Gerald Brennan, and Allen Schrott, 339–40. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 9780879308650. OCLC 61295944.
  • Stevenson, Joseph. 2005b. "Eduardo Mata". All Music Guide to Classical Music, edited by Chris Woodstra, Gerald Brennan, and Allen Schrott, 814. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 9780879308650. OCLC 61295944.
  • Tardiff, Joseph C, and L. Mpho Mabunda. 1996. Dictionary of Hispanic Biography. New York: Gale Research. OCLC 33009773.

Further reading

Original source: Inducted Honoree database of the Honorary National College of Mexico


As conductor

  1. Movement 1: "Introduction - Andante moderato" on YouTube
  2. Movement 2: "Allegro" on YouTube
  3. Movements 3 & 4: "Scherzo" & "Finale – Molto Lento" on YouTube
From: The Six Symphonies of Carlos Chávez, 3-LP set, Vox Cum Laude 3D-VCL 9032; New York: Moss Music Group (1983); OCLC 10211941
Reissue: Carlos Chávez: The Complete Symphonies, VoxBox 2 CDX 5061 (2-CD set), Hauppauge, NY: Moss Music Group (1992); OCLC 27844665
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