Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Villa-Lobos & His Contemporaries

This week the School of Music at UFRJ in Rio de Janeiro presents a music festival entitled "Villa-Lobos e seus contemporâneos" - Villa-Lobos & his contemporaries. Concerts from August 10-14 include some very rarely-performed works such as Choros #03, the Quarteto simbolico, and the Fantasia em três movimentos em forma de choros.

The juxtaposition of these works with the music of Stravinsky, Bartok, Berg, and Webern will help to show the avante garde nature of Villa's music from the teens & 20s. This series is yet another example of how seriously everyone is taking the Ano Villa-Lobos in Brazil. You can't walk down the street in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo without coming across a Choros or Bachianas!

It's fitting that UFRJ celebrates Villa-Lobos, since he's an alumnus of sorts. In 1903 the composer, busy with his work as a musician at bars & restaurants, registered for some music courses at the University:

“Villa-Lobos foi aluno da escola em 1903 em um curso noturno, porque ele trabalhava tocando em bares e restaurantes e, por isso, só conseguia estudar nesse curso noturno”, conta o diretor da Escola de Música da UFRJ, André Cardoso. [from a story about UFRJ music school's 160th Anniversary at the O Globo website. There's a cool video on this page: it takes a while to load, but it's worth waiting for.]

[Pictured above: the cover of this month's VivaMúsica! magazine.]

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