Lived:  1887 – 1959
Mostly in: Rio de Janeiro and Paris
Best Known For: Bachianas Brasileiras, Chôros, Guitar Concerto, Solo Guitar Works
Similar To: Milhaud, Stravinsky

“I am a child of nature”. This immodest statement was uttered by composer Heitor Villa-Lobos to an audience in Los Angeles during his first visit to the US in 1944. If it clearly surprised the novelist Érico Veríssimo, who was acting as Villa-Lobos’s translator from the Portuguese, it is, perhaps, a more accurate description of this remarkable musician than it might at first appear.

Villa-Lobos

Villa-Lobos is one of those rarities in music: a great composer who taught himself. As a child he was instructed in cello and clarinet by his father, a librarian by day but also a fine amateur musician. Villa-Lobos also mastered the guitar and was actively composing by his early teens. His father died suddenly when the boy was only 12...

This article is available online for Limelight subscribers. Log in to continue reading.

Not a subscriber? For a limited time our monthly digital subscription is only $3. Subscribe now and you will save 50% and have full access to our paywalled content and digital magazines.