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 (es) and Julián Orbón (Saavedra 2001). In 1964 he received a Koussevitzky Memorial Fellowship to study at Tanglewood. There, he studied conducting with Max Rudolf and Erich Leinsdorf and composition with Gunther Schuller (Morehead and MacNeil 1991; Jacobs 1990; Delpar 1974,[page needed]; Rehrig & 1991–96, 2:[page needed]).
He composed several works in the 1950s and 1960s, including three symphonies and chamber works, which include a sonatas for piano and for cello and piano (Saavedra 2001). His Third Symphony and some of his chamber works have been recorded (Tardiff and Mabunda 1996).
In 1965 he was appointed head of the Music Department of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and conductor of the Guadalajara Orchestra (Kanellos 2003,[page needed]; Stevenson 2005b; Meyer 2001). 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 (Saavedra 2001; Dent 2002, 194–95).
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 4 January 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 in the crash, near Mexico City (Kozinn 1995).
| Music Director, Phoenix Symphony
| Music Director, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
- Trio, for clarinet, drum, and cello, dedicated to Ralph Vaughan Williams (1957); OCLC 13364213
- Sonata, for piano (1960)
- Improvisaciones, for clarinet and piano (1961)
- Symphony No. 1 (1962)
- "Débora," ballet suite (1963)
- Los huesos secos (The Dry Bones), ballet (1963)
- Symphony No. 2 (1963)
- Aires (1964); OCLC 50515055
- Improvisación número 1, for string quartet and piano four-hands (1964)
- Improvisación número 2, for strings and two pianos (1965); OCLC 25201695
- Improvisación número 3, for violin and piano (1965); OCLC 2041840
- Sonata, for cello (1966), dedicated to Adolfo Odnoposoff
- Symphony No. 3, for winds and horn (1966); OCLC 20916143
- Symphony No. 3, for wind orchestra and solo horn. Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM, RCA Red Seal LP recording, 1 disc: analogue, 33⅓ rpm, stereo, 12 in. RCA Red Seal. México, D.F.: RCA Red Seal, 1971. OCLC 38079720.
- "Improvisación No. 2," for strings and two pianos. Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM, LP recording, 1 disc: analogue, 33⅓ rpm, stereo, 12 in. RCA Red Seal. México, D.F.: RCA Red Seal, .
- Delpar, Helen (ed.). 1974. Encyclopedia of Latin America. New York: McGraw-Hill. OCLC 1110804.
- Dent, David W. 2002. Encyclopedia of Modern Mexico. Historical Dictionaries of Latin America Series. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810842915 OCLC 49284080.
- Jacobs, Arthur. 1990. "Mata, Eduardo". The Penguin Dictionary of Musical Performers. London: Viking Press. ISBN 9780670807550. OCLC 21080776.
- Kanellos, Nicolas. 2003. The Hispanic American Almanac: A Reference Work on Hispanics in the United States, third edition. New York: Gale Research. OCLC 50149500.
- Kozinn, Allan. 1995. "Eduardo Mata Is Dead at 52; Conducted the Dallas Symphony". The New York Times (5 January): B10. Reprinted in The New York Times Biographical Service 26, no. 1:16. Ann Arbor: UMI Co.. ISSN 0161-2433.
- Meyer, Nicholas E. 2001.[full citation needed]. Biographical Dictionary of Hispanic Americans, second edition. Facts on File library of American History. New York: Checkmark Books. ISBN 9780816043309; ISBN 9780816043316.
- Morehead, Philip, and Anne MacNeil. 1991. [title (presumably a bio article on Mata] The New American Dictionary of Music. New York: E. P. Dutton.
- Rehrig, William Harold. 1991–96. The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Composers and Their Music, edited by Paul E. Bierley. 3 vols. (Mata in Vol. 2 of 3). Westerville, OH: Integrity Press. ISBN 9780918048080; ISBN 9780918048127. OCLC 24606813.
- 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.
- Stevenson, Joseph. 2005a. "Dallas Symphony Orchestra". All Music Guide to Classical Music, edited by Chris Woodstra, Gerald Brennan, and Allen Schrott, 339–40. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 9780879308650. OCLC 61295944.
- Stevenson, Joseph. 2005b. "Eduardo Mata". All Music Guide to Classical Music, edited by Chris Woodstra, Gerald Brennan, and Allen Schrott, 814. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 9780879308650. OCLC 61295944.
- Tardiff, Joseph C, and L. Mpho Mabunda. 1996. Dictionary of Hispanic Biography. New York: Gale Research. OCLC 33009773.[full citation needed]
- Anon. 1976. Who's Who in the West, 15th edition (1976–1977). Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. ISBN 9780837909158 OCLC 2601885.
- Anon. 1980. "Mata,[full citation needed]". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, first edition, edited by Stanley Sadie. London: Macmillan Publishers.
- Anon. 1986. "Mata [correct title needed].The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, edited by H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie, 4 vols. London: Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 9780943818368 (set); ISBN 9780333378793. OCLC 13184437, OCLC 230202868.
- Anon. 1992. Who's Who in Entertainment, second edition (1992–1993). Wilmette, IL: Marquis Who's Who. ISBN 9780837918518 OCLC 416125064.
- Anon. 1993a. "Eduardo Mata". International Who's Who, 57th edition (1993–94). London: Europa Publications. ISBN 9780946653911. OCLC 28473075.
- Anon. 1993b. "Eduardo Mata". Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 23rd edition (1993–94). New Providence, N.J.: Marquis Who's Who. ISSN 0083-9809 OCLC 27942179.
- Anon. 1996. "Eduardo Mata". Who Was Who in America: A Companion Biographical Reference Work to Who's who in America 11 (1993–1996). Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. OCLC 123323079.
- Anon. 1998. Latin American Lives: Selected Biographies from the Five-Volume Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Macmillan Compendium. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA. ISBN 9780028650609. OCLC 39849442.
- Anon. 2001. "Mata". Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 9th edition, edited by Laura Diane Kuhn, 6 vols. London: Macmillan Publishers; New York: G. Schirmer Inc. OCLC 44972043.
- Cornell, Charles R., and Rene J. Montalvo (eds.). 2002. Biography Index, 27 (September 2001 – August 2002). New York: H.W. Wilson Co.. ISSN 0006-3053 OCLC 51500525.
- Ficher, Miguel, Martha Furman Schleifer, and John M. Furman (eds.). 2002. Latin American Classical Composers, second edition. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. OCLC 50410142.
- Gaster, Adrian (ed.) 1990. International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory, 12th edition. Cambridge, UK: International Who's Who in Music. OCLC 28065697.
- Marquis, Albert Nelson, and Marquis Who's Who, Inc. 1993. "Eduardo Mata". Who's Who in America, 48th edition (1994), 3 vols. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who. ISSN 0083-9396 OCLC 29458448.
- Slonimsky, Nicolas (ed.). 1997. Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians. New York: G. Schirmer Inc. OCLC 36111932.
- Unterburger, Amy L., and Jane L. Delgado (eds.). 1994. Who's Who among Hispanic Americans, third edition (1994–95), foreword by Ricardo R. Fernández. Detroit: Gale Research. ISBN 9780810385504 ISSN 1052-7354 OCLC 31071565.
- Vinton, John (ed.). 1974. Dictionary of Contemporary Music. New York: E. P. Dutton. OCLC 887581.
- Classical Composers Database, administered by Jos Smeets, Quixote (organization), Deventer, Netherlands
- Interview with Eduardo Mata, January 4, 1991
- Paul Dukas, on YouTube, Dallas Symphony, Mata conducting, RCA Red Seal (1981); OCLC 317397014
- Carlos Chávez, Symphony No. 3, London Symphony Orchestra