Remembered for his works for piano, guitar, and orchestra and for his popular arrangements of Mexican folk songs, this early 20th-century composer is perhaps best known for his 1912 song "Estrellita." He was the 1947 recipient of Mexico's National Science and Arts Prize.
In his late teens, he began his training at the Mexican Conservatorio Nacional de Musica. He later studied at Italy's School of Bologna and at Germany's Stern Conservatory.
During his lifetime, he was recognized as the "Creator of the Modern Mexican Song."
He spent his earliest days in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico, and the bulk of his childhood in Aguascalientes. He married Clementina Maurel.
Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos was highly complimentary of Ponce's Latin American folk music-influenced work.