Friday, February 13, 2009

Brief Profile of Afro-Brazilian Composer José Mauricio Nunes Garcia is at

[José Mauricio Nunes Garcia (1767-1830)] has published several concise entries, based on essays at, in its Online Encyclopedia of African American History. Each article is about 350-400 words, and is linked to one of the 52 biographies at
José Mauricio Nunes Garcia (1767-1830) was an Afro-Brazilian composer and organist who was the grandson of slaves. Antonio Campos Monteiro Neto has made his website available to us. He notes 240 works of music by Garcia have survived, and credits Cleofe Person de Mattos for cataloguing them. Garcia's mother was Vitória Maria da Cruz and his father was Apolinário Nunes Garcia, a tailor. Garcia was born in Rio de Janeiro on September 22, 1767. His father died in 1773. Salvador José de Almeida e Faria taught the youth music. A biographer, Manuel de Araújo Porto Alegre, wrote that Garcia sang beautifully, wrote music, and played the harpsichord and guitar without lessons. The biographer adds that Garcia taught music from age 12, and was educated in the Royal Classes.”

“A Royal wedding in 1817 included skilled musicians from Europe, giving Garcia the opportunity to compose '12 Divertimenti' for the ceremony. The year 1817 was also when Garcia composed the first Brazilian opera, 'Le Due Gemelle' ('The Two Twins'), which was destroyed by fire in 1825. Monteiro Neto also tells us that in December 1819 Garcia conducted the first Brazilian performance of Mozart's 'Requiem' (K 626). His last work was the 'St. Cecilia's Mass'. José Mauricio Nunes Garcia died on April 18, 1830.”

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