The multi-faceted South American music world has been a mythical and far-reaching horizon for European musicians: land of fire, explosion of colors and sounds, model of a different world, a haven of vitality and a melancholy impossible to overlook. A human dimension full of authenticity and spirituality in which it is easy to recognize rhythms, often related to dance, born out of syncopation and combined along with melancholic melodies. A sense of love that awaken the vertigo of sensuality and shows the vitality of everyday life. South American music is first of all blood and breath and is the most direct and diffused way of communicating concrete feelings, energy steered towards freedom. Drowsy memories and vital throbs of this music prevail over the technological rhythm of modernity, able to refresh a latent vitality and reopen the rooms of mind where secrets of the spirit are hidden. […]
Darius Milhaud: (b Marseilles, 4 Sept 1892; d Geneva, 22 June 1974). French composer. He was associated with the avant garde of the 1920s, whose abundant production reflects all musical genres. A pioneer in the use of percussion, polytonality, jazz and aleatory techniques, his music allies lyricism with often complex harmonies. Though his sources of inspiration were many and varied, his music has compelling stylistic unity.
Egberto Gismonti: (b Carmo, 5 Dec 1947). Brazilian composer. He began piano studies at the age of six at the Nova Friburgo Conservatory, studying classical music for 15 years. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1968, where he successfully participated in the Third Rio International Song Festival. He then went to Paris to study orchestration and analysis with Nadia Boulanger and composition with Jean Barraqué. After his return to Brazil, Gismonti developed a personal style incorporating Arabian and Italian melodies (his family’s heritage), classical and contemporary music (especially Villa-Lobos and Stravinsky), traditional national genres (folklore, choro, bossa nova), Brazilian Indian themes and jazz. Influenced by the choro, Gismonti taught himself to play the guitar. He has played, recorded and toured throughout the world with several musicians. Since his first recording in 1969 he has made about 50 albums of his own compositions (most released by ECM Records and EMI-Brazil), in which he plays the piano, guitar, various flutes (including Indian instruments), kalimbas and other instruments, winning several prizes. He has also worked as a producer, arranger or player in several other musicians’ recordings. Gismonti’s compositions encompass a great diversity of musical elements and forms, both Brazilian and international, and have been written for solo instruments, ensembles, symphony orchestras, dance, theatre, films, exhibitions and poetic anthologies.
Emilio Pujol: (10 September 1886 – 21 November 1980) was a composer, guitarist and a leading teacher of the classical guitar.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (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.
Leo Brouwer: (b Havana, 1 March 1939). Cuban composer, guitarist and conductor. In 1953 he began his studies in the guitar with Isaac Nicola, founder of the Cuban guitar school, and in 1955 he made his performance début. In the same year, and self-taught, he started to compose (e.g. Música para guitarra, cuerdas y percusión and Suite no.1 for guitar); his first works were published in 1956. He was awarded a grant (1959) for advanced guitar studies at the music department of the University of Hartford and for composition at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he was taught by Isadora Freed, J. Diemente, Joseph Iadone, Persichetti and Wolpe. In 1960 he started working in cinema, as head of the department of music in the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC); he has written scores for more than 60 films. He was involved in setting up (1969) and running the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora at ICAIC, becoming the teacher and mentor of its members, who included Silvio Rodríguez, Milanés and other important figures of contemporary Cuban music. He worked as musical adviser for Radio Habana Cuba (1960–68) and for other Cuban institutions, and taught counterpoint, harmony and composition at the Conservatorio Municipal in Havana (1960–67). His book Síntesis de la armonía contemporánea was a core text in his classes.
Together with the composers Juan Blanco and Carlos Fariñas and the conductor Manuel Duchesne Cuzán, Brouwer launched the avant-garde music movement in Cuba in the 1960s. He has been the most significant promoter of the bi-annual Havana Concurso y Festival de Guitarra, and in 1981 he was appointed principal conductor of the Cuban National SO. He has also conducted many other foreign orchestras including the Berlin PO and the Orquesta de Córdoba, Spain, which, under his direction, was formed in 1992. He is a member of the Berlin Akademie der Künste, of UNESCO, of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes Nuestra Señora de la Angustias in Granada (1996) and Honoris Causa Professor of Art at the Instituto Superior de Arte de Cuba (1996). For his contribution to the Cuban and international music scenes he was awarded the Orden Félix Varela, the highest honour granted by the Cuban state for culture.
Three phases can be identified in Brouwer’s work: the first, nationalistic (1955–62); the second, avant-garde (1962–7); and a third in which avant garde elements diminish and, particularly after 1980, a creative process described by the composer as ‘new simplicity’ emerges. The first phase is characterized by the use of traditional musical forms, including sonata and variation form, and by tonal harmonic structures rooted in nationalism (e.g. in Homenaje a Manuel de Falla (1957), Tres danzas concertantes (1958) and, Elegía a Jesús Menéndes (1960), among others). During this phase, despite the prevailing use of tonality, a tendency to structural fragmentation may be discerned, as well as the employment of several simultaneous tonal centres, a device that has remained throughout his output.
Though never lacking formal rigour, Brouwer’s works have in general sprung more from a sonic conception: ‘I use any form to help me find musical forms: that of a leaf, of a tree or geometric symbolisms. All these are also musical forms; despite the fact that my works appear very structured, what interests me is sound’. This concentration on the sensory, and an accompanying use of extra-musical formal sources, is most to the fore in Brouwer’s second phase, which was, with the Cuban avant garde in general, heavily influenced by the Polish school; he first heard this music at the Warsaw Autumn in 1961. Variantes for solo percussion and in particular Sonograma I for prepared piano typify this phase, which also included a brief turn towards serialism, in works such as Sonograma II and Arioso (Homenaje a Charles Mingus). Basic materials frequently comprise intervals of the 2nd, 4th and 7th and chords of superimposed 6ths, 9ths, 11ths and 13ths. Complex polyphonic textures dominate, with thematic independence retained within the different planes of sound, and a resultant richness in rhythmic conjunction. Other common devices include pedals, ostinatos, sequences and melodic and rhythmic echoing. One of Brouwer’s most important avant-garde works, which has become a major piece of the guitar literature, is the solo Elogio de la danza (1964). In two movements – Lento and Ostenato – it was originally composed for dance with choreography by Luis Trápaga; it makes reference to primitive dances and to mysticism, and conveys an image of stamping feet and gyrations together with other dance elements.
Between 1967 and 1969 such works as Rem tene verba sequentur, Cántigas del tiempo nuevo and La tradición se rompe …, pero cuesta trabajo approach what would now be the postmodern, characterized by sharply defined contrasts in structure and texture and employing references to various historical periods. In La tradición se rompe …, pero cuesta trabajo, for example, the interpolation and superimposition of elements of such composers as Bach and Beethoven in a suggestive heterophony borders on caricature; further, the participation of the audience is invited with a persistent ‘sh’. All this is integrated into a process of thematic and instrumental development that evolves through a powerful, controlled aleatorism.
In the 1970s Brouwer continued to work on post-serial and aleatory ideas, for instance in La espiral eterna for guitar. But by the 1980s a ‘new simplicity’ had begun to take hold, involving neo-Romantic, minimalist and newly tonal elements. There is a marked lyricism in this third period, the use of varying nuclear cells to generate development, and the return of traditional forms exemplified in works like Canciones remotas, Manuscrito antiguo encontrado en una botella and La región más trasparente.
Manuel Maria Ponce: (b Fresnillo, Zacatecas, 8 Dec 1882; d Mexico City, 24 April 1948). Mexican pianist and composer. He was the leading Mexican musician of his time, and made a primary contribution to the development of a Mexican national style – a style that could embrace, in succession, impressionist and neo-classical influences.
Zanetti, Gabriele (Guitarist), Gabriele Zanetti graduated in guitar at the Marenzio Conservatory of Brescia. Parallel to classical studies, he has always been interested in acoustic and electric guitar. He plays in the Mandolins and Guitars Orchestra “Città di Brescia” directed by M ° Claudio Mandonico, with whom he has recorded several monographic works devoted to important authors of the original repertoire. Active as chamber musician, he recorded over ten records. He wrote the didactic method for children “Musichiamo con la chitarra”. He published “Red Hot Peppers”, a essay on the birth of jazz and popular music. He wrote the romance “Tar and the guitar of time”, a novel in which the guitar history is explained through the journey of a cat. He rediscovered the manuscript of the Sixth Concerto by Niccolò Paganini in the original version for violin and guitar and has edited the review for the Japanese publisher DaVinci. He has an intensive teaching activity in the province of Brescia.attività didattica della provincia di Brescia e presso la SMIM di Adro.
Bombardieri, Guido (Saxophonist & Clarinettist) He graduated in clarinet at the Conservatory of Mantua in 1991 under the guidance of M ° Savino Acquaviva, collaborating with chamber groups as clarinetist and saxophonist. In 1997 he was ranked seventh in “TOP JAZZ” as the newest talents from the magazine “Musica Jazz”. He was the first alto sax in the jazz Orchestra Giovanile Italiana. He played with the group “Elio and the Story Stories” in the soundtrack of the film “Almost Almost” (2002). He has performed at various Festivals, playing with his own groups and with several ensembles all over the world.
He is part of the “Buffa Orchestra” in the performance produced by Teatro Strelher with Antonio Albanese, lyrics by Stefano Benni and music by Luca Francesconi. He occasionally collaborates with renowned jazzmen such as Gianluigi Trovesi, Enrico Rava, Paolo Fresu, Marco Tamburini, Giorgio Gaslini, Sandro Gibellini, Mike Melillo, Tino Tracanna, Ares Tavolazzi, Rudy Migliardi, Franco D’Andrea, Mauro Beggio, Piero Leveratto, Luis Agudo.