The Piano Works of a Contemporary Mexican Expatriate: Samuel Zyman's Two Motions in One Movement and Variations on an Original Theme
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSamuel Zyman (b. 1956) is one of the leading Mexican composers of our time. He has composed more than 55 works in a variety of genres, including symphonies, concertos, orchestral pieces, film music, chamber music, and music for solo piano. This study includes an overview of Zyman's background as a musician and composer, with an emphasis on his solo piano works. It provides a discussion of Zyman's musical style and an analysis of his two most recent solo piano compositions, Two Motions in One Movement and Variations on an Original Theme. Zyman cites the music of Bartók and Prokofiev, along with Impressionism and jazz music, as important influences in his piano compositions. This study demonstrates that in his solo piano compositions Zyman has created a style that incorporates four diverse influences of 20th-century modern compositional practice -- the tonal language and percussive approach to the piano of Bartók, textural elements found in Prokofiev's piano works, elements of Impressionism, and certain rhythmic and harmonic elements of jazz music -- into a distinctly personal 21st-century voice. This synthesis of disparate elements into a compelling contemporary musical language makes Zyman a modern composer deserving of the attention of professional musicians and scholars. This study provides musicians insight into Zyman's compositional style, and brings the work of an important Mexican composer of our time to the attention of contemporary pianists and audiences.
Degree ProgramGraduate College