You are here
Perhaps the composer with the most tragic personal story of his generation is Silvestre Revueltas, whose overworked creative genius fed on copious amounts of alcohol in a struggle to live a life of extremes. He was a child prodigy in his native Mexico and moved to Chicago at a young age, where he studied composition and violin. In 1929, Carlos Chávez, who recognized Revueltas’ great talent, invited him to be the assistant conductor to the newly formed Orquesta Sinfónica de México and to teach composition at the Conservatory of Mexico. In 1937, Revueltas traveled to Europe to conduct his music, and he became involved in the Socialist struggle against the Fascists during the Spanish Civil War. And though he was spent at a young age by poor health combined with poverty, overwork, and alcoholism, the last ten years proved to be extraordinarily productive, and he composed over 30 pieces during the 1930s.