Silvestre Revueltas’s <i>Redes</i>

Composing for Film or Filming for Music?


  • Roberto Kolb-Neuhaus National University of Mexico (UNAM)/Dept. of Music, University of California, USA between Oct 2009 and Sep 2010



Silvestre Revueltas, Redes, Mexican cinema


On May 12, 1936 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Silvestre Revueltas directed the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in a concert version of the music he had recently composed for the film Redes which would premiere just two months later, on July 9 at Mexico City’s Cine Principal. Of nine film scores composed by Revueltas, two—Redes (1934– 1935) and Música para charlar (1938)1— were also conceived as concert music in the form of symphonic poems. Of the two, Redes is of greater interest, not only due to its musical qualities, but also because of its historic significance within the particular confluence of aesthetic and political references of the time, which were highly significant in the history of art in Mexico

Author Biography

Roberto Kolb-Neuhaus, National University of Mexico (UNAM)/Dept. of Music, University of California, USA between Oct 2009 and Sep 2010

Born in Mexico City to Viennese parents, he is professor of musicology and performance in the Graduate Program in Music of the National University of Mexico. Kolb-Neuhaus studied music in Holland at the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he majored in oboe and English horn. In the field of musicology, he obtained his doctorate with a semiological study of Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas’s early works. He is the founder and artistic director of Camerata de las Américas, an inter-American orchestra dedicated mainly to the research, recording and performance of music written for mixed instrumental ensembles during the twentieth century in the Americas. As a researcher, Kolb-Neuhaus has dedicated the past twelve years to the study of the music of Silvestre Revueltas. He compiled and published the catalogue of Revueltas’ works, the first one to be published since the composer’s death in 1940. In 1997 he published Sensemayá: un juego de espejos entre poesía y música (Sensemayá: A Game of Mirrors Between Poetry and Music), co-authored with Susana G. Aktories. In 1998, he organized the Second International Silvestre Revueltas Symposium under the auspices of the National University of Mexico. In 2006, he co-edited Silvestre Revueltas: sonidos en rebelión (SR, Musical Sounds in Revolt), an anthology of musicological essays on this composer’s music. He recently launched the Foro Virtual Silvestre Revueltas, which combines an on-line data base which includes an updated catalogue and phonography of Revueltas’s music, with a selection of previously published key essays on this composer’s life and music ( He is presently working on the completion of the Revueltas Digital Manuscript Library, which allows comparative and documented research of the composer’s musical and non-musical documents, including musical sketches, drafts and parts, as well as letters, photographs, concert programs and writings on music. His research has lead to the production of three digital recordings of unknown repertoire by Silvestre Revueltas. He is also the chief editor of the Revueltas Critical Edition, published by the National University of Mexico in collaboration with Peer Music. This work led to a contract for a book on the life and works of Revueltas, offered by Oxford University Press.


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How to Cite

Kolb-Neuhaus, R. (2010). Silvestre Revueltas’s <i>Redes</i>: Composing for Film or Filming for Music?. Journal of Film Music, 2(2-4), 127–144.



Editorial Essay