Composers > Heitor Villa-Lobos

Heitor Villa Lobos (1887 – 1959)

Choros

Villa Lobos was the the best-known Brazilian classical composer from South America. He wrote lots of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works as well as the most relevant classical guitar pieces of the XX. century. His music was inspired by basically Brazilian folk music but also influenced by stylistic elements from the European baroque and classical music.

Heitor Villa-Lobos was born in Rio de Janeiro March 5th, 1887. His father, Raúl, was a enthusiastic fan of music and art as well as an educated and well-read man with a great a library and an amateur astronomer. His father started to teach him to play on guitar and clarinet. His father died soon, he stopped his stuidies at schools in 1899 and trained himself on his own. He played in several folk music groups on his guitar. He lived on playing violincello in different pieces in theatres but he also played in cinemas and hotels as well. He travelled a lot between 1905-13, he educated himself in Bralizian folk music that became the most important influence of his works.

Gavotte Choros

Heitor Villa-Lobos was born in Rio de Janeiro March 5th, 1887. His father, Raúl, was a enthusiastic fan of music and art as well as an educated and well-read man with a great a library and an amateur astronomer. His father started to teach him to play on guitar and clarinet. His father died soon, he stopped his stuidies at schools in 1899 and trained himself on his own. He played in several folk music groups on his guitar. He lived on playing violincello in different pieces in theatres but he also played in cinemas and hotels as well. He travelled a lot between 1905-13, he educated himself in Bralizian folk music that became the most important influence of his works.

His first concert as composer was done in 1915 and had negative feedbacks but in the following years his concerts had lots of success and appreciation. In regard to his international reputation as a representative of contemporary Brazilian music he was invited to Week of Modern Arts in Sao Paulo. He travelled to Paris in 1923 to endear music of Brazilia and of course his compositions as well with the European audience. His works scored full marks and were given much attendance. Arthur Rubinstein and Andres Segovia were interested in very much to play his pieces. The most important pieces of classical guitar literature were composed by Villa Lobos and thanks to Segovia they became very popular all over the world.

Heitor Villa-Lobos portrait

Villa Lobos returned to his home country and took a share in Brazilian music education and training. He became the director of the Superindendéncia de Educaçao Musical e Artistica (SEMA) in 1932 then he was voted to be a director of National Conservatory in 1942 and he was working a lot for founding Academy of Music in Brasil. He was honorary member of numerous European and American institute and university. Beside his activities he remained very active in concerts life. He went concert hall by concert hall tirelessly to present his pieces to the world until the 50's. He died in November 17th, 1959 in Rio de Janeiro.