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Sao Paulo Honors a renowned Cuban composer Leo Brouwer
The Leo Brouwer Festival was inaugurated with a guitar recital at the Art Museum of Sao Paulo (MASP). Fabio Zanon, nowadays considered one of the best Brazilian guitarists, played some of the first pieces composed by the Cuban maestro for the instrument.

Flutist Antonio Carlos Carrasqueira, violinist Marcelo Jaffé, cellist Robert Suetholtz, guitarist Alieksey Vianna and the Sao Paulo Ensemble joined him to play some chamber music.

The series of recital continued December 8th, 9th , 10th and 12th at the concert hall of the University of Sao Paulo (USP). December 11th, the Chamber Orchestra (OCAM) of the higher education center, conducted by Leo himself, gave a concert west of the city. The same concert will close the festival on Sunday, December 14th at the museum.

The latest presentations have raised the public’s expectations concerning the concert with the chamber orchestra, especially as Leo played his piece ‘Gismontiana’, which he dedicated to his friend and colleague Egberto Gismonti. The piece had its world premiere in Italy in 2004.

“Writing music based on Gismonti’s work,” said Brouwer, “was not difficult at all. I felt like I was writing my own music. My music and that of the Brazilian maestro are different in style, but the essence is the same. After having played his music for orchestra, piano and guitar, after witnessing his wonderful improvisations, I wrote ‘Gismontiana’ from start to finish, almost by heart. The Brazilian spirit, present in Camargo Guarnieri or in Heitor Villa-Lobos in the first half of the 20th century found a continuator in Gismonti."

"The concerts and symphonies by Guarnieri or Villa-Lobos’ Momoprecoce,” he added, “‘Erosion’ or Choros # 10’, without forgetting their vast work for piano and their guitar studies, constitute inimitable examples that lacked continuity. That is the problem. You cannot imitate, but inherit. That is why a Gismonti emerged in the second half of the 20th century.”

One of the event’s most significant moments was an activity last December 13th, at the Cervantes Institute, during which Gismonti and Leo will share with the audience their visions of music and the world.

The festival has been organized by the program ‘Guitarrísimo’ of the Cervantes Institute of Spanish Culture and the University of Sao Paulo. Edelton Gloeden, Brazilian guitarist and professor at the School of Arts and Communications, is the event’s artistic director. Gloeden was awarded the Carlos Gomes Prize in 2001 in the category of instrumental soloist.

Brazil was a pending stop in Leo Brouwer’s international tour. This is his first visit here, where his music is highly acclaimed by guitarists and musicians in general.

At the same time, Leo has a vast knowledge of Brazilian culture and music, not just concert music, but popular music as well. These days, the author of ‘La espiral eterna’ and ‘Concierto de Lieja’ recalled the concert he organized in the early 1960s, jointly with the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC), with songs by renowned Cuban and Brazilian singers and songwriters like Pablo Milanés, Silvio Rodríguez, Eduardo Ramos, Sara González, Noel Nicola, Sergio Vitier, Emiliano Salvador, Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil, Joao Gilberto, Sergio Ricardo and Edu Lobo.


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