10 milestones in Phoenix arts and culture history

Friday May 15, 2015

The Arizona Republic
Kerry Lengel

The Mexican maestro

Founded in 1947, the Phoenix Symphony came of age in 1972 when it moved into the newly built Symphony Hall and hired its first important conductor, Mexico City-born Eduardo Mata. "Mata was a fantastic conductor," percussionist Bill Wanser told The Republic. "He conducted with everything — eyebrows, elbow, fingers — his whole body was in motion." Mata served six seasons and then moved to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.