Specially written by Irene Gómez for the Strings By Mail Articles.
Browse and shop Leo Brouwer Sheet Music
Browse and shop Heitor Villa-Lobos Sheet Music
In past years, this series celebrated worldwide anniversaries such as the 400 years of passing of Shakespeare and Cervantes and the publishing of the first books for vihuela, 100 years of the death of Scott Joplin and the passing of Claude Debussy, to name just a few.
This current year is a special one for musicians, and guitarist’s in particular to celebrate. The 80th birthday of maestro Leo Brouwer, one of the most creative artists in the recent guitar history, is undoubtedly deserving of celebration. Maestro Leo Brouwer was born in March 1939 in la Havana, Cuba. His tremendous output, where each piece is a challenging but rewarding jewel of deep beauty, is widely known and loved.
In addition to his huge guitar catalogue, his works include chamber music, guitar concertos, music for films, and arrangements of popular songs. His creativity has been relentless, seeing him constantly releasing new works during his active schedule as a conductor and guest professor of multiple faculties around the world. It is quite awesome to witness his existence in our times, and to be able to say Happy Birthday maestro Brouwer! Thank you for what you have done for guitar in this century.
And it would be a fault for this article to not mention that 60 years ago one of our fathers of modern guitar, Heitor Villa-Lobos (1885-1949) left this physical world. His amazing, or I would dare to say “amazonic” heritage, was deeply related to the great forest and diverse environs of Brazil’s vast territory. This Brazilian sense, that was personified in him, persists in his creations, which are among the most valuable for guitarists and their repertoire. This would be a good year to bring us back to review his hearty Preludes, Bachianas, and Choros, among others.
Perhaps some among us will program concerts with the music of these two geniuses of our instrument: Brouwer and Villa-Lobos.
Certainly, this is a special year for guitarists and this is an opportunity to invite you to browse the interesting catalogue Strings By Mail has with music of these wonderful artists that we celebrate this year, artists we celebrated in previous years, and new artists less known, but worthy of exploration.
Classical guitarist Irene Gómez regularly contributes to Strings By Mail through her teaching and performance videos as well as articles. She is a Strings By Mail Sponsored Artist, teaches guitar at the National University in Bogotá, Colombia, and performs worldwide.