The Kennedy Center

Camargo Guarnieri



Biography

An esteemed teacher, conductor and composer, Camargo Guarnieri (his complete name is actually "Mozart Camargo Guarnieri" - his father gave famous composer's names to all his sons) was one of the dominant figures in Brazilian music in the 20th century. The universal appeal of his style can be felt immediately upon contact with his works, and results from his blending of melodies and rhythms influenced by Brazilian traditions with a musical language of a more cosmopolitan scope. He wrote in all genres, including two operas, seven symphonies, and six piano concertos, but is best known for his many solo songs and piano pieces.

Even though he remained a devoted nationalist throughout his career, Guarnieri also absorbed European elements during his period of studies in Paris, where he worked with Koechlin. He returned to Brazil at the outbreak of World War II, and shortly thereafter went to the United States on an invitation from the Pan American Union. Several of his works were performed in New York, and he was awarded a number of prizes, including the first prize of the Philadelphia Free Library Fleischer Music Collection for his Violin Concerto, and a prize from the Chamber Music Guild of Washington, D.C., in 1944, for his second String Quartet. He was made a life member on the foundation of the Academia Brasileira de Musica in 1945, and in 1960 was appointed director of the Conservatorio Dramatico e Musical in Sao Paulo. As a conductor, he appeared with most of the leading European and American orchestras, and continued to play a leading role in orchestral and choral organizations in Brazil until his death.
Camargo Guarnieri

Compositions

  • Choro for Clarinet and Orchestra