Enrique Bátiz Campbell
Batiz began piano studies at the age of eight with Francisco Agea, continuing 10 years later with György Sándor. After two years at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, he became a student of Adele Marcus at the Juilliard School, where he also studied conducting. In 1964 he made several national tours as a pianist, and in 1965 was a semifinalist in the Marguerite Long International Piano Competition in Paris. From 1967 to 1970 he continued his piano studies in Poland with Zbigniew Drzewiecki, where he also studied orchestral conducting with Stanislaw Wislocki. In 1970 he was a finalist in the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Italy.
A 1967 concert tour featured performances with the Łodz and Szczecin Philharmonics. Recitals in Warsaw and Brussels in 1969 led to outstanding reviews noting his temperament and virtuosity. Returning to Mexico in 1969, Bátiz performed many concerts as a pianist. His debut as a conductor was in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in 1969 with the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra. Later in 1970 he made a series of piano recordings for the Polish and Salzburg Broadcast Companies. In April 1971 he was named director, conductor, and founder of the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra(OSEM).
For 12 years (1971–1983) Maestro Bátiz was the conductor of the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra (Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México) before moving to the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra for seven years (1983–1989). In 1990 he resumed his directorship of the OSEM, which continues to the present. In 1984, he was named guest conductor of England’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and, as an invited guest conductor, has conducted more than 500 symphony orchestras around the world. He has conducted numerous piano concerti with Eva Maria Zuk as soloist.
His work is represented with a collection of 145 recordings: 58 with the State of Mexico Symphony, 41 with the Royal Philharmonic, 19 with the Mexico City Philharmonic, 12 with the London Philharmonic, 9 with the London Symphony, 3 with the Philharmonia, 2 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and 1 with the Toscana Orchestra in Florence, Italy. His recordings appear in the catalogs of EMI International, Academy of Sound and Vision, Musical Heritage (USA), NAXOS, IMG International Management Group, Pickwick, and RPO Records and Arts.
As a conductor, Bátiz’s repertory ranges from classical to contemporary works. He has been described as an artist who conducts with vehemence and enthusiasm, manifesting a deep understanding unusual even among the finest conductors.
Awards and recordings
Throughout his career, he has received many important distinctions and awards. These include La primera Presea Bienal in Art from the State of Mexico Confederation of Professionals, Rome’s International Gold Mercury award (the first given to a Latin American artist), and the Jose Marti and Tlatelolco’s Eagle medals. In 1984 he won First Prize at the British Music Trades Association for his interpretation of Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune. In 1986 Brazil awarded him the Rio Branco medal for making the first digital recording of the nine Bachianas Brasileiras by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Four times (1971, 1981, 1983, and 1996) the Mexican Union of Teatrical and Musical broadcasters named him the most distinguished artist of the year. His 1984 recording of Camille Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 was proclaimed “best recorded version” by Gramophone magazine and the Penguin Stereo Records Guide. In 1986 The London Sunday Times considered his recording of Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka as the recording of the year. In 1991, he received the Mozart medal given by the Domecq Cultural Institute. In December 1992, the London CD review magazine designated the recording he made with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of the Symphonic Dances and The Isle of the Dead by Sergei Rachmaninoff as one of the best recordings made in 1992. In 1995, he won the “State of Mexico” Prize. In 1994, because of his contribution to the musical culture of the State of Mexico and the musical world, he received the Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz award for Arts and Letters. In recognition of his achievements, he has been declared Mexiquense Destacado, or “Outstanding Mexican.”
Bátiz has also recorded the complete nine symphonies by Beethoven, the complete pieces for orchestra by Joaquin Rodrigo, Manuel M. Ponce, and Georges Bizet, and eight volumes of Mexican music, all of which have received great worldwide acclaim. In 1997 Maestro Bátiz and the OSEM recorded the six symphonies and other works of Tchaikovsky, the four Brahms symphonies and the four symphonies of Robert Schumann.
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