Biography of Villa-Lobos Heitor:
Since his death in 1959 Villa-Lobos has been recognised as the great genius of South American music. Yet the majority of the massive body of his works, which includes vocal and solo instrumental pieces, chamber music, opera, ballet, concerti and symphonies, is largely unknown and not often performed. The Concerto For Guitar And Small Orchestra falls into that small group of Villa-Lobos’ works which is beginning to be performed world-wide with some degree of regularity and recognised as the masterpiece it is. Heitor Villa-Lobos was born March 5, 1887 in Rio de Janeiro. Although his father, an amateur musician, gave him a rudimentary introduction to the cello and music theory, his knowledge of the guitar is entirely auto-didactic. Playing professionally in local theatres, night-clubs and bars, he developed an affinity for folk music as well for popular musicians. After extensive travels throughout his native Brazil, Villa-Lobos embarked upon his first trip to Europe, where, in an interview to the French press, he uttered the phrase Folklore is me While his music was always received with great acclaim in the United States and Europe (especially in France), Villa-Lobos met with constant critical resistance in Brazil. In an attempt to bring international standards to South America, he organised Brazil's Ministry of Artistic and Musical Education in 1921, an agency of which he was appointed Supervisor in 1932. His interest in music of the Baroque led to the creation of what is perhaps his most famous group of works, the Bachianas Brasileiras, begun in 1930 and completed in 1945. Written for various instrumental and vocal combinations in the spirit of the Brandenburg Concerti, this body of works successfully fulfils Villa-Lobos’ musical goals of infusing European classical traditions with the folk music of his native culture. In 1960 the Brazilian government established the Villa-Lobos Museum in Rio de Janeiro which sponsors an annual festival of the maestro's music.