Leo Brouwer

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Leo Brouwer
Leob.jpg
Background information
Birth name Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida
Born (1939-03-01) March 1, 1939 (age 75)
Cuba Havana, Cuba
Genres Folkloric, Aleatoric, Atonal
Occupation(s) Composer, Classical guitarist, Conductor
Years active 1968-
Labels Egrem

Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida (born March 1, 1939 in Havana) is a Cuban composer, conductor, and guitarist.

He is the grandson of Cuban composer Ernestina Lecuona y Casado,[1] and the great-nephew of composer Ernesto Lecuona, .

Biography[edit]

As a child, Brouwer received his initial stimulus from his father, a physician, who was an aficionado of Villa-Lobos, Tárrega and Granados. He initiated his son encouraging him to play these composers' works, mostly by ear.

Young Brouwer received his first formal guitar instruction from the noted Cuban guitarist and pedagogue Isaac Nicola, in turn a disciple of Emilio Pujol. Afterwards, Brouwer went to the United States to study music at the Hartt College of Music of the University of Hartford, and later at the Juilliard School, where he studied under Vincent Persichetti and took composition classes with Stefan Wolpe.

In 1970 Brouwer played in the premiere of El Cimarrón by Hans Werner Henze in Berlin. Together with Morton Feldman, he was awarded a 1972 scholarship by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) being guest composer and lecturer of Academy of Science and Arts of Berlin. In Germany Brouwer also recorded a number of LPs for Deutsche Grammophon.[2][3][4]

Brouwer's playing career ended in the early 1980s due to an injury to a tendon in his right hand middle finger.[5][6]

Brouwer's early works show the influence of Cuban folk music, but during the 1960s and 70s, he became interested in the music of modernist composers such as Luigi Nono and Iannis Xenakis, using indeterminacy in works such as Sonograma I. Other works from this period include the guitar pieces Canticum (1968), La espiral eterna (1971), Parábola (1973) and Tarantos (1974). More recently, Brouwer's works have started leaning towards tonality and modality. The solo guitar works El Decamerón Negro (1981) the Sonata (1990; for Julian Bream) and Paisaje cubano con campanas (1986) exemplify this tendency.

Among his works are a large number of solo guitar pieces, several guitar concertos and over forty film scores. Leo Brouwer is involved in the "Concurso y Festival Internacional de Guitarra de la Habana" (International Guitar Festival of the Havana). He travels often to attend guitar festivals throughout the world, and especially to other Latin American countries.[7]

Modern music[edit]

Brouwer is best known for his performances and compositions of modern music. He has performed and recorded works by Sylvano Bussotti, Hans Werner Henze, Maurice Ohana, Cristóbal Halffter, Leni Alexander, Cornelius Cardew, Heitor Villa-Lobos, etc.[8]

Functionary and Communist Party member[edit]

Brouwer is a member of the Communist Party of Cuba. He has held a number of official posts in Cuba, including the Cinema Institute of Cuba's music department.

Selected works[edit]

Works for Guitar[edit]

Solo Guitar[edit]

  • 1955 Suite No. 1 Antigua
  • 1955 Suite No. 2
  • 1956 Preludio
  • 1957 Danza Característica "Quítate de la Acera"
  • 1959 Fuga No. 1
  • 1959 Tres Apuntes
  • 1964 Danza del Altiplano
  • 1964 Elogio de la Danza
  • 1968 Canticum
  • 1968 Un Dia de Noviembre
  • 1971 La Espiral Eterna
  • 1973 Parábola
  • 1973 Estudios Sencillos (Nos. 1-10)
  • 1974 Tarantos
  • 1975 Cadences
  • 1981 El Decamerón Negro
  • 1981 Preludios Epigramáticos No. 1-6
  • 1984 Variations on a Theme of Django Reinhardt
  • 1986 Paisaje Cubano con Campanas in 2012 transcribed for solo accordion by Marco Lo Russo
  • 1990 Sonata
• Fandangos y boleros
• Sarabanda de Scriabin
• Toccata de Pasquini
  • 1993 Rito de los Orishás
  • 1996 Hika: In Memoriam Toru Takemitsu
  • 1996 Hoja de album
  • 1996 Paisaje Cubano con Tristeza'"
  • 1999 An Idea (Passacaglia por Eli)
  • 2000 Viaje a la Semilla
  • 2001 Nuevos Estudios Sencillos No. 11-20
  • 2004 La Ciudad De Las Columnas (Variaciones sobre "Pieza sin Título Nº1")
  • 2007 Paisaje Cubano con fiesta
  • 2007 Sonata del Caminante (Dedicated to Odair Assad)
  • 2012 Sonata del Decamerón Negro (Dedicated to Kostas Kotsiolis)
  • 2013 Sonata del Pensador (Dedicated to Ricardo Gallén)
  • Canción Triste
  • Cantilena de los bosques dedicata a Roberto Fabbri
  • Dos aires populares cubanos
  • Guajira criolla
  • Zapateado
  • Piezas sin títulos No. 1-3
  • Variations on a Piazzolla Tango
  • Dos Temas populares cubanos
• Drume negrita, cancion de cuna (Berceuse)
• Ojos Brujos

Guitar Ensemble[edit]

Guitar Duo[edit]
  • 1957-1958 Micropiezas Hommage à Darius Milhaud
  • 1958 Micropiezas No.5
  • 1964 Música incidental campesina, (music for Theaterplay El fantasma)
  • Per Suonare a Due
  • Triptoco
Guitar Quartet[edit]
  • Canciones remotas
  • Toccata para cuatro o más guitarras
  • Toccata
  • Paisaje Cubano Con Rumba
  • Paisaje Cubano con lluvia
Guitar & Orchestra[edit]
  • 1958 Tres danzas concertantes
  • 1979 Acerca del cielo, el aire y la sonrisa
  • 1983 Retrats Catalans
  • 1985 From yesterday to Penny Lane
  • 1995 Concierto Omaggio a Paganini (concerto for guitar and violin)

Guitar and stringquartet[edit]

  • 1958 Quintet for guitar and string quartet

Guitar Concertos / Concierto para Guitarra[edit]

  • 1972 Concierto p.g. No. 1
  • 1981 Concierto p.g. No. 2 de Lieja
  • 1986 Concierto p.g. No. 3 Elegiaco
  • 1987 Concierto p.g. No. 4 de Toronto
  • 1991-92 Concierto p.g. No. 5 de Helsinki
  • 1997 Concierto p.g. No. 6 de Volos
  • 1998 Concierto p.g. No. 7 "La Habana"
  • 1999 Concierto p.g. No. 8 "Concierto Cantata de Perugia"
  • 2002 Concierto p.g. No. 9 "de Benicassim"
  • 2003 Concierto p.g. No. 10 "Book of Signs" (concerto for two guitars)
  • 2007 Concierto p.g. No. 11 "de Requim (In memoriam Toru Takemitsu)"

Other works[edit]

Solo Instruments[edit]

  • 1960 Sonata para cello solo
  • 1962 Variantes para un percusionista
  • 1970 "Sonata 'pian e forte' " for Roger Woodward

Chamber music[edit]

String Quartets[edit]
  • 1961 Cuarteto de cuerdas No. 1, a la memoria de Bela Bártok
  • Cuarteto de cuerdas No. 2
  • Cuarteto de cuerdas No. 3
  • Demeter Prelude
Other chamber music[edit]
  • 1970 Sonata piane forte for Piano and recorded tape
  • 1970 Per suonare a Tre (flute, alto, and guitar
  • 1983 Manuscrito antiguo encontrado en una botella for pianotrio
  • Balada for Flute and Strings
  • Canción de Gesta (para orquesta de cámara)
  • Sonate pour Cor et Piano
  • Pictures of Another Exhibition (violin, choir, and piano)
  • La Region Mas Transparente (flute and piano)
  • Basso Continuo I (2 clarinets)
  • La Vida Misma (piano, violin, cello and percussion)'

Orchestra[edit]

  • 1984 Canciones remotas for string orchestra
  • Symphonie No. 1 (orchester)
  • Remembrances (orchester)
  • Anima Latina (Orchester)
  • Cadence Quatuor en Ré
Orchestra with other solo instruments[edit]
  • 1972 Balada, concierto para flauta y orquesta de cuerdas (flute und orchester)
  • 1972 Concierto para violín y orquesta (violin and orchester)
  • 1981 Cancion de Gesta (For the Boat Loaded with the Future) (symphonic windorchester with piano)

Choir[edit]

Scores[edit]

He composed music for the sound track of the celebrated Mexican movie Como Agua Para Chocolate (1992).[9] He composed the orchestral score for Vicente Amigo's flamenco album, Poeta.

Original score for the Cuban film La Última Cena (The Last Supper), directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea [10]

  • 1960: Historias de la revolución
  • 1965: Vaqueros del cauto
  • 1966: Papeles son papeles
  • 1966: La muerte de un burócrata
  • 1967: Las aventuras de Juan Quin Quin
  • 1968: LBJ
  • 1968: Hanoi, martes 13
  • 1968: Memorias del subdesarrollo
  • 1968: Lucía
  • 1969: Despegue a las 18:00
  • 1971: La bataille des dix millions
  • 1972: Una pelea cubana contra los demonios
  • 1973: El extraño caso de Rachel K
  • 1973: El hombre de Maisinicú
  • 1975: Abril de Vietnam en el año del gato
  • 1975: Ustedes tienen la palabra
  • 1976: Un día de noviembre
  • 1976: La cantata de Chile
  • 1976: La última cena
  • 1977: Mi hermano Fidel
  • 1977: Destino manifiesto
  • 1978: Son o no son
  • 1978: El recurso del método
  • 1979: No hay sábado sin sol
  • 1979: The survivors (Los sobrevivientes)
  • 1979: La viuda de Montiel
  • 1980: La guerra necesaria
  • 1982: Una y otra vez
  • 1983: Tiempo de amar
  • 1983: Los refugiados de la cueva del muerto
  • 1983: Alsino y el cóndor
  • 1983: La rosa de los vientos
  • 1983: Cecilia
  • 1983: Hasta cierto punto
  • 1984: La segunda hora de Esteban Zayas
  • 1985: Cuando una mujer no duerme
  • 1985: Wild dogs (Jíbaro)
  • 1985: Amada – a woman from Havanna
  • 1986: Tiempo de morir
  • 1992: Like Water for Chocolate (Como agua para chocolate)
  • 1995: Un héroe se hace a patadas
  • 1995: A Walk in the Clouds (Composed by Maurice Jarre except "Crush the grapes" and "Mariachi Serenade", composed by Brouwer with lyrics by Alfonso Arau).
  • 1998: Mátame mucho
  • 2002: Ficción sin ficción
  • 2003: Memorias de Lucía
  • 2004: Lucía y el tiempo
  • 2004: La persistencia de la memoria
  • 2005: Kordavision

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  2. ^ LP: Hans Werner Henze - El Cimarrón (CD reissue)
  3. ^ LP: Debut - Leo Brouwer, Gitarre (CD reissue of the modern works)
  4. ^ LP: Musique Contemporaine pour guitare (CD reissue)
  5. ^ Leo Brouwer Artist Profile/Interview
  6. ^ Clive Kronenberg on Leo Brouwer
  7. ^ Brouwer, Leo; Hdez, Hernández; Carmona (2004). Leo Brouwer: gajes del oficio. 
  8. ^ Rara Recording by Leo Brouwer
  9. ^ IMDb movie credits - Leo Brouwer as author of Original Music
  10. ^ [1]
  • Andy Daly, Leo Brouwer. Music Web International, accessed June 9, 2011

External links[edit]

Publishers[edit]

Recordings[edit]

Films[edit]

"LEO BROUWER" (2000). Documentary (35mm- 57 min). Written and Directed by JOSE PADRON. Co-Production ICAIC (Cuba), SGAE and Fundacion Author de la Sociedad General de Autores y Editores de España (SGAE).

"LEO BROUWER-IRAKERE" (1978). Documentary (35mm-24 min). Written and Directed by JOSE PADRON. Production Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC).

Videos[edit]

"LEO BROUWER" is the most important and complete documentary of the life and work of Leo Brouwer. It was written and directed by the Cuban film maker JOSE PADRÓN between 1996 and 2000. The film was the result of a co-production between the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC), the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores de España (SGAE=, and the Fundación Author of SGAE. The master negative was produced in 35mm with a duration of 57 minutes. ICAIC distributes it in private copies in the original Spanish as well as those with English sub-titles.

"LEO BROUWER-IRAKERE" documents an exceptional concert that sought to break the barrier between classical and popular music (Havana, 1978). Thus, it brought together for the first time Leo Brouwer -considered at the time one of the world´s most important guitar soloists - and the Afro-Cuban jazz group IRAKERE. The group, winner of a GRAMMY in 1978, and the # 1 ranking Latino jazz band, includes trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, saxophonist Paquito de Rivera, and pianist Chucho Valdés. The event brought together other stars as well. The film was written and directed by Cuban film maker JOSE PADRÓN between 1978 and 1979. Production was by the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos(ICAIC). The master negative was produced in 35mm with a duration of 24 minutes. ICAIC distributes it in private copies in the original Spanish as well as those with English sub-titles, together with the documentary "LEO BROUWER" of 57 minutes duration.

"FICTION WITHOUT FICTION" is a 30-minute version of the 57-minute documentary "LEO BROUWER. It summarizes the life and work of Leo Brouwer, and was written directed by Cuban film maker JOSE PADRÓN in 2002, and produced by PADRÓN himself with collaboration of the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC). The master negative was produced in 35mm, but was edited in AVID. ICAIC distributes it in private copies in the original Spanish as well as those with English sub-titles.

Articles[edit]

Interviews[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Leo Brouwer by Isabelle Hernández. (Andante. Editora Musical de Cuba) ISBN 959-7153-01-7
  • Gajes del oficio by Leo Brouwer [2]

Biography[edit]