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Leo Brouwer (1939 - ) is a contemporary classical guitar composer, whose works range from simple studies to pieces of considerable complexity. He was born Juan Leovigildo Brouwer in Havana, Cuba on the 1st of March, 1939.

History: At the age of thirteen, he found himself pulled into the arms of the guitar - drawn by the forceful, rhythmic, Flamenco strumming and tonality that typifies the South and Central American continents. His father, a doctor and amateur guitarist, encouraged him. He learnt first from Isaac Nicola, who had been taught by Emilo Pujol (1886 - 1980), who had himself learnt from the great Francesco Tarrega (1852 - 1909). It is important to note that both of the latter were profuse arrangers and composers of music, and undoubtedly their influence was felt by the young Brouwer. Brouwer himself was already, at 17, a fine exponent of the guitar, but evidently he had an increasing interest in composition. Prelude (1956) and Fugue (1959) were appreciative of styles outside the guitar, with inspiration drawn from Bartok and Stravinsky.

Periods: Like emerging artists in any form of expression, Brouwer's early works were drawn from his surroundings: the people, culture, colours, tastes and mood of Havana. There is a strong African flavour permeating the pieces, and the rhythmic force behind them is unmistakeable. After that was the sucession to stages of development, one piece of which inexplicably uses the Eb tuning on the 6th string (this is big, believe me!). A lot of work in this period uses modern composition techniques such 12 tone or serial composition. His last period is eerily minimalist, perhaps (enter subjectivity) an attempt to refine (or redefine) his work.

Contributions: Leo Brouwer continues, to this day, to propel the guitar ever onward, into the hypermodern 21st century. He constantly directs and judges in competitions around the world - his association with the Havana International Guitar Festival is invaluable. While the scope of this, write-up is limited to his works for the guitar, it should be noted that his contribution to other instruments is vast. He has over 60 film scores to his name, as well as conducting some of the best orchestras around the world.

Publications:
Canticum (1968)
La ciudad de las mil cuerdas for large guitar ensemble DY
Concerto No.1 for Guitar and Orchestra
Concerto No.2 for Guitar and Orchestra.
Concerto No.3 for Guitar and Orchestra. (1986)
Concerto No.4 for Guitar and Orchestra. (1987)
Concerto No.5 for Guitar and Orchestra.
Concerto No.6 for Guitar and Orchestra
Cuban Landscape with Bells
Cuban Landscape with Rain
Danza Caracteristica (1957)
Dos Canciones for voice and guitar
Elogio de la Danza (1964)
El Decameron Negro (1981)
Etudes Simples (4 volumes) No.1-20
Fuga No.1 (1959)
Hika "In Memorium Toru Takemitsu"(1996)
La Espiral Eterna
Micropiezas. (Duet) - Parabola
Paisaje cubano con tristeza (1999)
Piece Without Title
Piece Without Title Nos.2&3
Preludio (1956)
Rito de los Orishas for solo guitar (1993)
Sonata (1990)
Suite in D
Tarantos (1974)
Toccata for 4 or more guitars
Tres Apuntes (1959)
Two Popular Cuban Airs: Guajira Criolla, Zapateado
Two Popular Cuban Themes: Cancion de Cuna, Ojos Brujos
UN DIA DE NOVIEMBRE (One Day In November) for Solo Guitar, 1968

Informata from Musicweb at http://www.musicweb.uk.net

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