Sunday, February 28, 2010

Leo Brouwer, Afro-Cuban Composer, Guitarist & Conductor Born March 1, 1939

[Leo Brouwer]

Leo Bouwer, the Afro-Cuban classical guitarist who is also a conductor and a prolific composer, is profiled at He was born in Havana, Cuba March 1, 1939 and has enjoyed a flourishing career since completing his studies in Music in the U.S. at the Julliard School and the Hartt College of Music, where his major subject of study was composition.

His enormous influence on guitar music in particular and classical music in general is demonstrated by more than a hundred recordings on which he has played, composed or conducted. Brouwer's compositions reflect classical, Afro-Cuban, jazz and avant-garde influences. His many film scores, including Like Water for Chocolate, have brought his music to the attention of a huge audience around the world.

Brouwer's version of the Beatles tune Penny Lane opened the “Cubadisco Guitar Fiesta” in Havana on March 21, 2009. Leo Brouwer conducted the Moscow Chamber Orchestra Musica Viva in Kaluga, Russia, at the XII “World of Guitar Festival,” May 25-29, 2009. On June 1, 2009 AfriClassical excerpted a very favorable review of Fuga Libera, a 2007 CD which includes Concerto Elegiaco, in a performance by Denis Sung-Hô (guitar).

AfriClassical reported on July 1, 2009 that Leo Brouwer had received Cuba's “National Film Award” for 2009. On July 31, 2009 we quoted the Star-Telegram as saying Variations on a Theme of Django Reinhardt by Leo Brouwer has a “wistful melody.” On Aug. 23, 2009 was quoted as saying “Brouwer's Estudios 'in a direct line to the Études for guitar' of Sor & Villa Lobos.” A daily blog on the music of Leo Brouwer alone would have no shortage of news to report!

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