Featured Composer: Silvestre Revueltas
Perhaps best known for his string and orchestral compositions, Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas (1899–1940) was a violinist, conductor, political activist, and composer who spent much of his artistic life working towards the promotion of contemporary Mexican music.
Revueltas split his musical education between the National Conservatory in Mexico City, St. Edward's University in Austin, TX, and the Chicago School of Music. He was later appointed the conductor of Orquesta Sinfónica de México, where he lead the orchestra for six years until a personal disagreement led to Revueltas's leaving for a competing orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. He was also a prominent film composer, providing scores for eight films in the last five years of his life.
Many of his compositions were written in the last 10 years of his life, at which time he also travelled to Spain to fight against the rise of Francisco Franco's dictatorship. He passed away soon after returning to Mexico from complications due to his battle with alcoholism.
Mexican folk influences can be heard in many of his pieces, where he often combined original melodies with different national styles with his uniquely vibrant rhythmic writing.