Enrique Gonzalez-Medina


I grew up in Tijuana, in northwestern Mexico, and one of my earliest music experiences were the family gatherings at my grandparents home. Back then, my mother's family was a very large one: they were ten brothers and sisters. My aunts and uncles had grown up without a radio, and they would all sing together innumerable songs to entertain the gatherings. These are very happy memories that I was fortunate to have lived.

I was very lucky to be able to pursue my music studies in Mexico City. Being from the distant border city of Tijuana, Mexico City in the seventies was a real eye and ear opener. I was able to get to know better my own country. I became very familiar with the music of my country, not just the concert music composers, but also the vast and diverse folk music. To this day I continue to admire the works of Silvestre Revueltas, Manuel M. Ponce, Miguel Bernal Jimenez, José Pablo Moncayo, Arturo Márquez and many other wonderful Mexican composers. Their music inspires me to continue working on mine.

Today, I think that these experiences have had an impact on my thoughts about my music making. I feel very strongly that when I compose, I want to write the best music that I am capable of writing, that goes without saying, but I strongly believe that just as equally important, the music that I write should be very appealing to the musicians performing it, as well as to the audiences listening to it. It should be music that musicians can't wait to play, and that audiences can't wait to hear. These are the challenges that I give myself with every new work that I begin.

For many years I have made it a point to include in some of my compositions, a connection with my home state of Baja California. I have composed works where I make references to it, such as “Baja California y Altar”, a symphony of landscapes from the Mexican northwest, “El cancionero bajacaliforniano”, a songbook with twenty-five settings of poems by Baja California poets, as well as “Canto marino”, a song cycle of poems by Tijuana poet Rosina Conde.

I lived in the United States from 1983 until the summer of 2013. I had many opportunities to learn, to teach, and to present my music there, and I'm very grateful for this. I was the very lucky husband to Amy Jo Duell (1959-2010), a wonderful, talented, sweet and loving woman. She was a composer too and we met while we were still music students in New York and encouraged each other in our composition work for all the delightful years we were happily married. 

I'm very proud of the six fantastic years at KUSC-FM in Los Angeles hosting a bilingual radio program about Latin American concert music.  I taught piano and composition to many talented young people for sixteen years at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, a happy place that I dearly loved. 

In August of 2013 I moved to Mexico City, where I continue composing and also teaching composition, and harmony at the Escuela Superior de Música in the Centro Nacional de las Artes.

Every time that my music is performed or aired on the radio, it makes me very happy. It makes all the work involved worthwhile. I have been very lucky to have made many musicians friends that are happy to perform my works.

José Enrique González Medina

  Jose Enrique Gonzalez Medina