The Afro-Cuban composer, classical guitarist and conductor we now know as Leo Brouwer was named Juan Leovigildo Brouwer when he came into the world in Havana, Cuba on March 1, 1939. His enormous influence on guitar music in particular and classical music in general is demonstrated by more than a hundred recordings on which he has played, composed or conducted. Brouwer's compositions reflect classical, Afro-Cuban, jazz and avant-garde influences. His many film scores have brought his music to the attention of a huge audience around the world. Brouwer's influence in his native country results in part from the important positions he has held in Cuban music institutions.
2 An Early Start
Young Leo's father, Juan Brouwer, was a doctor and an amateur guitarist. Leo first learned music from his father and his aunt, Caridad Mezquida. His great-uncle was the well-known composer and pianist Ernesto Lecuona. Leo began playing the guitar himself at age 13. His first significant teacher was Isaac Nicola, a virtuoso guitarist who also composed for his instrument and arranged the music of others for guitar. Leo was only 17 when he made his own professional debut. Early compositions include Prelude (1956) and Fugue (1959), both influenced by Bela Bartok and Igor Stravinsky. His academic training took place in the U.S., at the Julliard School of Music and the Hartt College of Music, where his major subject of study was composition.
3 Positions in Cuba
After completing his music education, Brouwer returned to Cuba. There he immediately became a major figure in his country's music establishment. From 1960 to 1961 he was the Music Advisor to the National Radio and Television Company in Havana. In 1960, Brouwer became Director of the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematograficos [Cuban Institute of Film Arts and Industry]. That position is one of the reasons that the composer has written more than 30 film scores, some of which were box-office hits around the world. Brouwer was also a Professor of Composition at the Conservatorio Nacional [National Conservatory] from 1961-67.
The titles in this list are made up of some older compositions and new works by Leo Brouwer.
They are very well laid out and having tried some of these new pieces, I can highly recommend playing them.