The life and music of the Mexican composer Samuel Maynez Prince (1886-1966): study and edition of the complete works for violin and piano
Samuel Máynez Prince (1886-1966), was a prolific and important Mexican musician. Prince’s musical style followed the trends of the nineteenth-century salon music genre. His compositions include lullabies, songs, dances, marches, mazurkas, waltzes, and revolutionary anthems. Prince’s social status and performances in the famed Café Colón in Mexico City increased his popularity among high-ranking political figures during the time of the Mexican Revolution as well as his status in the Mexican music scene.
Unfortunately there is virtually no existing scholarship on Prince and even basic information regarding his life and works is not readily available. The lack of organization of the manuscript scores and the absence of dates of his works has further pushed the composer into obscurity. An investigation therefore was necessary in order to explore the neglected aspects of the life and works of Prince as a violinist and composer. This document is the result of such an investigation by including extensive new biographical information, as well as the first musical analysis and edition of the complete recovered works for violin and piano.
In order to fill the gaps present in the limited biographical information regarding Prince’s life, investigative research was conducted in Mexico City. Information was drawn from archives of the composer’s grandchildren, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Conservatorio Nacional de Música de México, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. The surviving relatives provided first-hand details on events in the composer’s life; one also offered the researcher access to their personal archive including, important life documents, photographs, programs from concert performances, and manuscript scores of the compositions. Establishing connections with the relatives also led the researcher to examining the violins owned and used by the late violinist/composer.
This oral history approach led to new and updated information, including the revival of previously unpublished music for violin and piano. These works are here compiled in an edition that will give students, teachers, and music-lovers access to this unknown repertoire. Finally, this research seeks to promote the beauty and nuances of Mexican salon music, and the complete works for violin and piano of Samuel Máynez Prince in particular.