(b Rio de Janeiro, 5 March 1887; d Rio de Janeiro, 17 Nov 1959). Brazilian composer. Heitor Villa-Lobos stands as the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music. This significance stems not only from his international recognition, but from his achievement in creating unique compositional styles in which contemporary European techniques and reinterpreted elements of national music are combined. His highly successful career stood as a model for subsequent generations of Brazilian composers.