Born in Guatemala City, Xavier studied piano at the National Conservatory of Guatemala with Consuelo Medinilla. At age 18, he was awarded the first-prize at the Augusto Ardenois National Piano Competition and third-prize at the Rafael Alvarez Ovalle Composition Competition in Guatemala. He continued his piano studies in the United States with Argentinean pianist Sylvia Kersenbaum and with Ukrainian pianist Sergei Polusmiak. He has been a soloist with the Guatemalan National Symphony Orchestra, the Augusto Ardenois Orchestra, and the Camellia Symphony in Sacramento, California.
As a composer, Xavier did most of his studies privately with Rodrigo Asturias. In 2013 he won the silver medal at the fourth International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition in Prague. He holds a Master’s degree in music theory from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in composition from the University of California, San Diego where he studied with Roger Reynolds (advisor), Philippe Manoury, and Chinary Ung. His compositions have been performed in diverse festivals such as Festival Musica in Strasbourg, France, Darmstadt Music Courses in Germany, June in Buffalo, SICPP in Boston, and by ensembles such as Accroche Note, Ensemble Signal, UCSD palimpsest, Mivos Quartet, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.
ENSEMBLE PALIMPSEST is the main new music ensemble at the University of California, San Diego. It consists of graduate students, music department faculty, as well as musicians from the USCD community. Percussion Professor and acclaimed conductor Steven Schick as well as Professor of Piano Aleck Karis both lead the ensemble. Each year, the ensemble commissions a piece to a young composer with the same instrumentation of an older work from the repertoire, performing them in the same program.