Chávez, Carlos

Chávez, Carlos kärˈlōs shäˈvās [key], 1899–1975, Mexican composer and conductor. In 1928, Chávez established the Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, which he conducted until 1949. He was also director (1928–34) of the National Conservatory of Music, where he radically reformed the curriculum. He used elements of indigenous Mexican music and instruments in his Xochipilli Macuilxochitl (1940). The influence of Stravinsky is evident in several of his works. His most important compositions include the ballet El fuego nuevo (1921); the ballet-symphony H.P. [horsepower] (1926–27); Sinfonía Antigona (1933); a piano concerto (1938–40); a violin concerto (1948–50); the Fourth and Fifth symphonies (1953, 1954); and Invention, for string trio (premiere, 1965). Chávez is the author of Toward a New Music (1937) and Musical Thought (1961).

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