Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mindinha's Centennial

Villa-Lobos & Mindinha
This coming Thursday, July 26, 2012, is the Centennial of the birth in 1912 of Arminda Neves d'Almeida Villa-Lobos, the composer's companion from 1936 to his death in 1959. In celebration, the Museu Villa-Lobos will be publishing in December of 2012 a 14th volume of their important series Presença de Villa-Lobos.

She was nicknamed Mindinha, and though the two were never able to marry after Villa-Lobos left his first wife Lucilia, since divorce was impossible in Brazil at the time, the two were virtually inseparable in their 23 years together. Mindinha appears very often with Villa in pictures, and the two seem very close in their home movies. This quote from a letter to the French pianist Marguerite Long, written 3 years after Villa's death, shows the depth of her love:
"You can understand how I feel, without the one who represented everything to me: my immense love, my mentor, my friend, and how difficult it is to live."
Villa-Lobos dedicated more than 50 of his works to Mindinha, but her influence did not stop with her husband's death in 1959. In 1960 she helped to create the Museu Villa-Lobos, and helped to run it for 25 years until her death in 1985.

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