Arturo Márquez

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Arturo Márquez
Márquez in 2016
Born (1950-12-20) December 20, 1950 (age 73)
Álamos, Sonora, Mexico

Arturo Márquez Navarro (born 20 December 1950) is a Mexican composer of orchestral music who uses musical forms and styles of his native Mexico and incorporates them into his compositions.


Márquez was born in Álamos, Sonora, in 1950 where his interest in music began. Márquez is the first born of nine children of Arturo Márquez and Aurora Navarro. Márquez was the only one of the nine siblings to become a musician. Márquez's father was a mariachi musician in Mexico and later in Los Angeles. His paternal grandfather was a Mexican folk musician in the northern states of Sonora and Chihuahua. Márquez's father and grandfather exposed him to several musical styles in his childhood, particularly Mexican "salon music" which would be the impetus for his later musical repertoire.

His education began in La Puente, California where he spent his middle school and high school years. After returning to Mexico, Márquez studied at the Conservatory of Music and the Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico. He also had a private study in Paris with Jacques Castérède after receiving a scholarship from the French government.[1]

Márquez began composing at the age of 16 and attended the Mexican Music Conservatory, where he studied piano and music theory from 1970 to 1975. Márquez studied composition from 1976 to 1979 with Federico Ibarra, Joaquín Gutiérrez Heras, and Héctor Quintanar.[2] In the U.S., he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and in 1990 obtained a MFA in composition from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.[2]

Until the 1990s, Márquez music was largely unknown outside his native country, which changed when he was introduced to the world of Latin ballroom dancing, which led to his most famous compositions the Danzones. His music incorporates forms and styles of his native Mexico.[3] The Danzones are based on the music of the Veracruz region of Mexico. Danzón No. 2 was included on the program of the Simon Bolívar Youth Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel on the 2007 tour of Europe and the United States. Danzon No. 2 has become such international attention it is dubbed Mexico's second national anthem, being played globally with orchestra tours around the Americans and Europe conducted by Simon Bolivar and Gustavo Dudamel.[4] The composition has also opened the door for the discovery of other pieces by the composer that are increasingly being performed throughout the world and extensively in Latin America.[citation needed] His Danzones are increasingly being used for ballet productions throughout the world.[citation needed] Márquez is a popular composer among the Latin American public and is widely recognized as one of the most important Mexican composers of his generation.[citation needed]

Arturo Márquez lives with his family in Mexico City.


Márquez has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors. He was awarded the National Prize for Arts and Sciences (Mexico) by President Felipe Calderón on December 14, 2009. In February 2006, he made history when he became the first musician to receive "La Medalla De Oro De Bellas Artes de Mexico" (Gold Medal of Fine Arts of Mexico), one of Mexico's most coveted award for career accomplishments in the fine arts. Other awards have included the Medalla Mozart (awarded by the Austrian embassy), Medalla Dr. Alfonso Ortiz Tirado, California Institute of the Arts Distinguished Alumnus Award, Unión de Cronistas de Música y de Teatro, and many others. In 2000, the German public paid homage to the composer at a concert in his honor in Berlin.

Márquez has also been honored at several musical festivals throughout Latin America where his music has been performed extensively and has obtained a large following. In 2005, the Arturo Márquez International Music Festival was commenced in Caracas, Venezuela in honor of the composer. In 2014, Márquez was honored as composer-in-residence during the Caribbean Tour of YOA Orchestra of the Americas.


  • Moyolhuica y Enigma, for flute (1981)
  • Mutismo, for two pianos (1983)
  • Gestación, for orchestra (1983)
  • Concierto interdisciplinario con músicos y fotógrafos (1985)
  • Son, for orchestra (1986)
  • Persecución, for orchestra (1986)
  • Ciudad rota, for voice, piano, percussion, and string orchestra (1987)
  • Sonata Mayo, for harpe (1989)
  • En Clave, for piano (1988–1990)
  • Passages, ballet (1990)
  • Danzón, for synthesizer (1990)
  • Noche de luna, for chorus and orchestra (1991)
  • Tierra, ballet (1991)
  • La Nao, ballet (1992)
  • Sehuailo, for two flutes and orchestra (1992)
  • Son a Tamayo, for harp, percussion and tape. Featured at the 1996 World Harp Congress; along with Música para Mandinga, is an electroacoustic composition. (1992)
  • Paisajes Bajo el Signo de Cosmos, for orchestra (1993)
  • Zacamandú en la yierba, for piano (1993)
  • Los cuatro narcisos, ballet (1993)
  • Homenaje a Gismonti, for string quartet (1993)
  • Vals au meninos da rua, for orchestra (1993)
  • Cristal del Tiempo, ballet (1994)
  • Danzón No. 1, for orchestra (1994)
  • Danzón No. 2, for orchestra (1994)
  • Danzón No. 3, for flute, guitar and small orchestra (1994)
  • Zarabandeo, for clarinet and piano (1995)
  • Danzón No. 4, for chamber orchestra (1996)
  • Octeto Malandro, for large orchestra (1996)
  • Danza de Mediodía, for wind quintet (1996)
  • Danzón No. 5, for saxophone quartet (1997)
  • Días de Mar y Río, for piano (1997)
  • Máscaras (Máscara Flor, Máscara Son, La Pasión según San Juan de Letrán, La Pasión según Marcos) (1998)
  • Danza sylvestre, for orchestra (1999)
  • Espejos en la arena (Son de tierra candente, Lluvia en la arena, Polca derecha-izquierda), for cello and orchestra (2000)
  • Danzón No. 6 ("Puerto Calvario"), for saxophone and orchestra (2001)
  • Danzón No. 7, for orchestra (2001)
  • Danzón No. 8, ("Homenaje to Maurice Ohana"), for orchestra (2004)
  • Sueños (Textos de Eduardo Langagne), cantata (2005)
  • Conga del Fuego Nuevo, for orchestra (2005)
  • Los Sueños cantate scénique, for mezzo-soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, narrator, dancers and orchestra (2006)
  • De Juarez a Maximiliano, (2006)
  • Solo Rumores, for solo piano (commissioned by Ana Cervantes) (2006)
  • Marchas de duelo y de ira, for orchestra (2008)
  • Cuatro danzas cubants, for orchestra (2009)
  • Rapsodia Tlaxcalteca, for orchestra (2009)
  • Leyenda de Miliano, for orchestra (2010)
  • Danzón 7 (reissue) (2012)
  • Alas (a Malala), for clarinet, orchestra, and choir (2013)
  • De la Mora a las Raíces, (Commissioned by UAEMex for its 60th anniversary) (2017)
  • Danzón No. 9, (2017)
  • Concierto de Otoño, for trumpet (2018)
  • Fandango, for Anne Akiko Meyers violin concerto (2020)


  1. ^ "Danzón No. 2, Arturo Márquez". LA Phil. Retrieved 2023-12-07.
  2. ^ a b Miranda 2001.
  3. ^ Soto Millán 1996–1998.
  4. ^ Burns, Alex (2022-01-01). "Arturo Márquez 'Danzón No. 2': 'Nostalgia and Jubilant Escape'". Classicalexburns. Retrieved 2023-12-07.


  • Miranda Pérez, Ricardo. 2001. "Márquez (Navarro), (Jesús) Arturo". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.
  • Soto Millán, Eduardo. 1996–1998. Diccionario de compositores mexicanos de música de concierto, siglo XX. México, D.F.: Sociedad de Autores y Compositores de Música: Fondo de Cultura Económica. ISBN 9789681648992.

Further reading[edit]

  • Esquer, José Carlos. Mar que es arena, danzones y espejos: Un acercamiento a la obra del compositor Arturo Márquez. Hermosillo: Instituto Sonorense de Cultura, 2009. ISBN 978-607-7598-08-4.
  • Rumbaut, Luis. "The Folk Spirit in Orchestral Music". Clave Magazine (May 2002):[page needed]
  • Palapa, Fabiola, Claudia Herrera, and Mónica Mateos. "México es un país afortunado en géneros musicales, dijo Arturo Márquez". La Jornada, December 15, 2009.

External links[edit]