Manuel María Ponce Cuéllar (8 December 1882 – 24 April 1948) was a distinguished Mexican composer active in the 20th century. His work as a composer, music educator and scholar of Mexican music connected the concert scene with a usually forgotten tradition of popular song and Mexican folklore. Many of his compositions are strongly influenced by the harmonies and form of traditional songs. Manuel Ponce was born in the state of Zacatecas, Fresnillo city. He was the twelfth child in his family. He began playing the piano at the age of four.