Nearly 35 records of the acclaimed Mexican composer María Grever are stored in the Artistic and Literary Property collection of the General Archive of the Nation, making her one of the women with the most records in this documentary collection.

María Joaquina de la Portilla Torre, better known as María Grever, was born on September 14, 1885, in the city of León, Guanajuato, although she spent most of her childhood in Spain and France. In these countries, she received her first instructions in music under the tutelage of renowned masters such as the first impressionist composer Claude Debussy.

After marrying the American Augusto Grever, she moved to New York City. In this city, her musical career began to gain relevance with the creation of her first worldwide hit entitled Júrame, a bolero that reached important numbers of popularity in the radio charts.

Likewise, in the United States of America, he began to work for the North American film houses: Paramount Pictures International, 20th Century Fox, and Metro Goldwyn Meyer (MGM). Another of the spaces where he triumphed was in the mythical theatrical space of Broadway with the arrangements of the musical Viva O'Brien.

Cobarde by María Grever
Cobarde by María Grever

These outstanding works in radio, film, and theater led Grever to be the first Mexican to win an award abroad, as well as to join the American Society of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers in 1935. The Mexican composer also went on to create her record label under the name Grever Music Publishing Incorporation.

Throughout her life, Grever composed more than 800 songs in both English and Spanish. Some of them were recorded in Mexico, such as Bésame, Rayito de sol, Vida de mi vida, En alta mar and Un sueño, among others. All of them can be consulted in the documentary collection Propiedad Artística y Literaria referred to above.

Grever interpreted several musical genres, among which the bolero stood out. At that time, this genre was dominated by the male and macho world. However, María Grever managed to break this barrier with songs such as Júrame, Cuando vuelva a tu lado, Alma mía and Te quiero.

This is why María Grever is considered one of the main exponents of the golden age of bolero. She competed with authors such as Guty Cárdenas, Agustín Lara and Alfonso Esparza Oteo. In addition, Grever, together with Cuban María Teresa Vera and her compatriot Consuelo Velázquez, formed the so-called triumvirate of women composers who stood out in the world of bolero at an international level.

On December 15, 1951, María Grever left this world. However, her legacy will remain preserved throughout history, thanks to the fact that several of her compositions are stored in different information centers such as the General Archive of the Nation.

Cobarde by María Grever, Tango Song.
Cobarde by María Grever, Tango Song. Images: AGN, Artistic and Literary Property, box 528, registry number 13037.
Cobarde!!! by María Grever
Cobarde!!! by María Grever