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Heitor Villa-Lobos

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Heitor Villa-Lobos


Heitor Villa Lobos (5 March 1887, Rio de Janiero, Brazil - 17 November 1959, Rio de Janiero) was a Brazilian composer, described as "the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music". Villa-Lobos has become the best-known and most significant Latin American composer to date. He wrote numerous orchestral, chamber, instrumental and vocal works. His music was influenced by both Brazilian folk music and by stylistic elements from the European classical tradition, as exemplified by his Bachianas Brasileiras (Brazilian Bachian-pieces).

As a young man, Villa-Lobos played cello in cafes and restaurants to earn a living. He traveled throughout Brazil, collecting folk songs and Indian songs. In 1923, he went to Paris on a government grant and was appointed director of music education in Rio de Janiero upon his return in 1930. He introduced innovative practices into the national music education program, emphasizing Brazilian culture.

Villa Lobos composed operas, ballets, and nine Bachianas Brasileiras, along with a large amount of other music.

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