The Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra -- Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México -- is an orchestra of international rank founded and underwritten by the National Government of Mexico. The home venue is the Ollín Yoliztli Cultural Center (es) in Tlalpan, Mexico City, which opened in 1979.
The Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1978 by the National Government of Mexico through an initiative by Carmen Romano, wife of then President of Mexico, José López Portillo. The Philharmonic was part of a plan to make fine arts education accessible to youths. The government launched classical music workshops and formed professional orchestras, including The Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra. Fernando Lozano Rodríguez (es) was the founding conductor. The Philharmonic's venue name, ollín yoliztli, means "life movement" or "life force" in Náhuatl.
Directors, members, and notable soloists:
Guest conductors have included Leonard Bernstein, Eduardo Mata, and Enrique Diemecke. Guest soloists have included Martha Argerich, Narciso Yepes, Nicanor Zabaleta, Renata Scotto, Birgit Nilsson, Claudio Arrau, Janos Starker, Isaac Stern, Placido Domingo, and María Teresa Rodríguez (es). Artistic directors are appointed by the Secretary of Culture of Mexico City.
1978-1982: Fernando Lozano Rodríguez (es),
1983-1989: Enrique Bátiz Campbell (19 recordings with the Mexico City Philharmonic, as conductor),
1990-????: Luis Herrera de la Fuente,
1998-????: Jorge Mester,
Enrique Barrios (es),
2013-present: José Areán, appointed Artistic Director January 2013,
Principal guest conductors
2011-2013: José Areán, appointed Principal Guest Director June 2011,
1980-1983: Enrique Diemecke (born 1955),
1998-2002: Carlos Miguel Prieto (born 1965),
1978-1979: Jerome (Jerry) Ashby (1956-2007), french horn; he went on to became associate principle french horn with the New York Philharmonic in 1979,
Morris T. Kainuma (born 1959), tuba; he was appointed principal tuba in 1980; he currently is a freelance and educator in the New York City area,
Awards and critical acclaim:
The Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra has made over a hundred recordings, most of which being the works of Mexican composers. The Philharmonic is reputed to be most prolifically recorded orchestra of music by Mexican composers. In 1981, The Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra won the Academie du Disque Francais Grand Prize for its recording of Mexican Ballets by Blas Galindo, José Pablo Moncayo, and Carlos Chávez. Fernando Lozano Rodríguez (es) was the conductor. The jury stated that The Philharmonic was the best in Latin America.
In 2001, The Mexico City Philharmonic was nominated for "Best Classical Recording" in the inaugural Latin Grammy Awards. The Mexican Union and Theater Critics Philharmonic Mexico City and Music as the best of the year, calling it "The Best Orchestra of Mexico, 2000."
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