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Remembering Eduardo Mata (1942-1995) – Dallas Symphony Orchestra Celebrates the Life of Its Conductor Emeritus in 2020

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Celebrates the Life of Its Conductor Emeritus in 2020

Celebratory Concert Added for March 11, 2020, in Partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas

During 2020, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the life of former Music Director and Conductor Emeritus Eduardo Mata upon the 25th anniversary of his death. Mata served as Music Director of the DSO from 1977 through 1993. 

In partnership with the Consulate-General of Mexico in Dallas, the DSO has added a new concert on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30 PM. This performance will showcase the music Mata was famous for and provide an opportunity for the city to honor his memory and legacy. Details and tickets for the concert will be available at the end of January.  

In addition, the DSO will present an exhibit on his life and his music directorship. The presentation will be located in the lobby of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center through March.  

On the DSO’s website, the orchestra members, past and present, have provided their remembrances of Mata in work and in music. The DSO has curated a Spotify playlist of his recordings, and musicians have singled out their favorite works.  

“Eduardo Mata is forever connected to Dallas,” said Kim Noltemy, Dallas Symphony Orchestra Ross Perot President & CEO. “His legacy is felt every day on the stage of the Meyerson, the hall that he opened to great acclaim, and in the excellence of the musicians that he hired to join the DSO. We are a stronger orchestra from his leadership.” 

“Mata led the DSO from rough times to great moments, but specially he led the Mexico-Dallas relationship to new heights showing everyone on both sides of the border that talent and music have no accent,” said Francisco de la Torre Galindo, Consul General of Mexico in Dallas.

Appointed Music Director of the DSO in 1977, Eduardo Mata built the orchestra’s technical ability and reputation, taking it back to Carnegie Hall for the first time since 1965, and making two appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He also successfully mounted international tours to Europe, Mexico City and Singapore.  

Mata enjoyed the longest tenure of any music director in the first 100 years of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. His legacy includes 33 recordings with the Dallas Symphony, the foundation of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, construction of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center and his championship of music by contemporary Mexican and South American composers. A composer himself, Mata wrote for the symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, the ballet and several vocal works.   

Born in Mexico City in 1942, he began his professional conducting career at age 15. He studied composition at the National Conservatory of Music with Carlos Chavez and Julian Orbon and completed a residency at Tanglewood in 1964. Shortly thereafter, at age 22, Mata was appointed conductor of the Guadalajara Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1966. From 1966 to 1975, he was music director and conductor of the Orquestra Filarmónica of the National University of Mexico City, and in 1974, he was named principal conductor and musical advisor of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra.   

In addition to his work with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Mata continued his association with Phoenix until 1978 and forged a lifelong partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra that resulted in recordings, tours and many concert appearances. Mata guest conducted many of the world’s finest orchestras, including most of the major British orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Atlanta and San Francisco Symphonies.  

After 16 years in Dallas, Mata resigned in 1993 and was named Conductor Emeritus for Life in honor of his long and beneficial association with the orchestra. He returned to Mexico City, planning to conduct, teach and compose. Tragically, his plans were cut short when he died in a plane crash in 1995. At his death, Mata was recognized around the world for his passion, vision and brilliant musicianship.

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