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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 and Julián Orbón. In 1964 he received a Koussevitzky Fellowship to study at Tanglewood. There, he studied conducting with Max Rudolf and Erich Leinsdorf and composition with Gunther Schuller.
He composed several works in the 1950s and 1960s, including three symphonies and chamber works, (amongst which are sonatas for piano and for cello and piano) (Saavedra 2001). His third symphony and some of his chamber works have been recorded.
In 1965 he was appointed head of the Music Department of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and conductor of the Guadalajara Orchestra. 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.
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 January 4, 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.
- 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.
- Interview with Eduardo Mata by Bruce Duffie, January 4, 1991
|Music Director, Dallas Symphony Orchestra