Description: Mario Lavista (b.1943) is widely acknowledged as one of Mexico's foremost living composers. Having acquired his music education in his native Mexico and in Europe alike, he is similar to numerous other Latin composers who were building a career in the latter half of the twentieth century. During this time, composers were relying on international aspects of avant-garde techniques, and using nationalistic Latin rhythms and melodies less. Lavista embraced internationalism, and aimed to compose works devoid of identifiable elements of nationalism. This document argues that the absence of nationalistic elements in Lavista's music has affected his notoriety outside of Mexico. The role of nationalism is assessed through a brief examination of influential Mexican composers and educators prior to 1950, followed by a discussion of education and composition in the latter half of the twentieth century. These aspects are investigated with regard to Lavista's education and resulting compositional style. A theoretical analysis of Cinco Danzas Breves para quinteto de alientos (1994) serves as a representative example of Lavista's compositional style and influence. This document aims to highlight and increase exposure of Mexican composers outside of Latin America who do not compose nationalistic music.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Thiemann, Amy