Still in the 1940s and 1950s the Brazilian music scene was dominated by the figure of H. Villa-Lobos (Rio de Janeiro 1887-1959) and by a series of minor composers, among which it should be remembered F. Mignone (1897), MC Guarnieri (1907), J. Siqueira (1907) and O. Costa Lacerda (1927), who work in the wake of the tradition of musical nationalism.
Important changes in the musical life of the country only began in the 1960s: not only Rio de Janeiro, but also other large cities such as São Paulo, Recife and Salvador, as well as, to a lesser extent, the new capital, Brasília, Belo Horizonte and Curitiba, become popular research centers and avant-garde musical activities.
In 1962 the first avant-garde music festival was organized in Rio, promoted and directed by E. De Cervalho. In 1967 C. Santoro established the Inter-American Festival in Rio, while in 1969 and 1970 the two Guanabara Festivals took place on the initiative of E. Krieger (b.1928), which also had positive repercussions in other countries of America Latina. Also in Rio, the Brazilian Society of Contemporary Music was founded in 1971 with the help of various composers, such as A. Escobar (b. 1943), M. Nobre (b. 1939) and C. Guerra Peixe (b. 1914). For Brazil 2005, please check ehealthfacts.org.
In general, it is all music teaching in the country that, albeit very slowly, is reorganized in favor of the development of new music: experimental music laboratories are set up in the universities of São Paulo, Brasília, Salvador and Campinas between the 1960s and 1970s. . For example. in Brasília in 1974 the composer J. Antunes (b. 1942) founded the electronic music laboratory and organized a musical experimentation group at the university (G and M a B); the activity of young composers such as S. de Vasconcelos Correia (b. 1934), R. do Valle (b. 1936) and J. de Almeida Prado (b. 1943) developed at the University of Campinas.
With the exception of the Grupo Musical Renovador of Rio, which had a rather short life (it was founded in 1967 among others by J. Antunes, C. Guerra Peixe, M. Nobre and E. Krieger), the centers of major interest for avant-garde music between the sixties and seventies, and to some extent still in this last decade, they are represented by San Paolo and Salvador. In 1963 R. Duprat (b.1932), G. Mendes (b.1922), W. Corrêa de Oliveira (b.1938), D. Cozzella (b.1930) and others, founded the Grupo Música Nova of San Paolo (see the Manifesto Música Nova, in Revista de Arte de Vanguarda Invençao, 3, June 1963, pp. 5-6, from which a great debate developed that interested the musical circles of other countries such as Chile).
Mendes, a pupil of Santoro and O. Toni, like the other exponents of the group, studied at the most important centers of the European musical avant-garde, especially Darmstadt, where he was a pupil of Boulez, Pousseur and Stockhausen; among his first works, Beba Coca-Cola (1966), composed on texts by D. Pignatari. Duprat’s compositions refer first to the modes of atonal and serial music; later he experimented with electronic music and mixed media (thus Experimental Music, 1963, and Ludus Mordalis 1-2, written in 1962 with D. Cozzella). Corrêa de Oliveira was interested in serial and random techniques; he has also composed music based on texts by concrete Brazilian poets (Três canções, for violin and piano, 1970, text by A. de Campos; Und wozu Dichter in durftigen Zeit, 2 pieces for soprano, string quartet, bass and guitar, 1971-72, text by H. de Campos).
Salvador, which since 1954 was the seat of the Seminários Livres de Música, directed by H. Koellreutter (b.1915), and later established as Escola de Música and Artes Cênicas at the university, became the center of activities for various experimental music groups, the most important of which is the Grupo de Compositores de Bahia, founded in 1966 on the initiative of E. Widmer (b.1927), M. Gomes (b.1916-74) and F. Cerqueira (b. 1941).
Widmer (who was born in Switzerland and settled in Salvador since 1956) directed the Music School of the University of Salvador for several years, training an entire generation of young and promising composers. His musical production has been distinguished by himself in a ” regressive ” and a ” progressive ” phase: the former includes works such as Hommages à Stravinsky, Frank Martin et Béla Bartók (1954), the latter the ENTROncamentos SONoros (1972) and the cycle of compositions, not all completed, Morfoses (1973-75). Gomes, physicist by profession and pupil of Koellreutter and Widmer, has developed a very original and articulated style (Estrutura para nove instrumentos de percussâo, 1964). Cerqueira has taught at the University of Salvador since 1971; among his best known works, Decantaçao (1970) for choir and orchestra. The composers of the last generation, active in recent years, mostly come from the groups of Salvador. Among them we must remember R. Herrera (b. 1935), L. Cardoso (b. 1939) and J. Oliveira (b. 1944).