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Biography of

Leo Brouwer

1 mar 1939 (Havana) -
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Leo Brouwer

Background information
Birth name Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida
Born March 1, 1939 (1939-03-01) (age 71)
Cuba Havana, Cuba
Genres Folkloric, Aleatoric, Atonal
Occupations Composer, Classical guitarist, Conductor
Years active 1968-
Labels Egrem

Juan Leovigildo Brouwer Mezquida (born March 1, 1939) in Havana, is a Cuban composer, conductor and guitarist .



As a child, Brouwer received his initial stimulus from his father, a physician, who was an aficionado of Villa-Lobos, Tárrega and Granados. He initiated his son encouraging him to play these composers' works, mostly by ear.

Young Brouwer received his first formal guitar instruction from the noted Cuban guitarist and pedagogue Isaac Nicola, in turn a disciple of Emilio Pujol. Afterwards, Brouwer went to the United States to study music at the Hartt College of Music of the University of Hartford, and later at the Juilliard School, where he studied under Vincent Persichetti and took composition classes with Stefan Wolpe.

Brouwer's early works show the influence of Cuban folk music, but during the 1960s and 70s, he became interested in the music of modernist composers such as Luigi Nono and Iannis Xenakis, using indeterminacy in works such as Sonograma I. Other works from this period include the guitar pieces Canticum (1968), La espiral eterna (1971), Parábola (1973) and Tarantos (1974). More recently, Brouwer's works have started leaning towards tonality and modality. The solo guitar works El Decamerón Negro (1981) the Sonata (1990; for Julian Bream) and Paisaje cubano con campanas (1986) exemplify this tendency.

Brouwer has held a number of official posts in Cuba, including the directorship of the Cinema Institute of Cuba's music department. Among his works are a large number of solo guitar pieces, several guitar concertos and over forty film scores. Leo Brouwer is involved in the "Concurso y Festival Internacional de Guitarra de la Habana" (International Guitar Festival of the Havana). He travels often to attend guitar festivals throughout the world, and especially to other Latin American countries.




  • 1955 Suite No. 1 Antigua
  • 1955 Suite No. 2
  • 1956 Preludio
  • 1957 Danza Característica "Quítate de la Acera"
  • 1959 Fuga No. 1
  • 1959 Tres Apuntes
  • 1964 Danza del Altiplano
  • 1964 Elogio de la Danza
  • 1968 Canticum
  • 1968 Un Dia de Noviembre
  • 1971 La Espiral Eterna
  • 1973 Parábola
  • 1973 Estudios Sencillos (Nos. 1-10)
  • 1974 Tarantos
  • 1975 Cadences
  • 1981 El Decamerón Negro
  • 1981 Preludios Epigramáticos No. 1-6
  • 1984 Variations on a Theme of Django Reinhardt
  • 1987 Paisaje Cubano con Campanas
  • 1990 Sonate
• Fandangos y boleros
• Sarabanda de Scriabin
• Toccata de Pasquini
  • 1993 Rito de los Orishás
  • 1996 Hika: In Memoriam Toru Takemitsu
  • 1996 Hoja de album
  • 1996 Paisaje Cubano con Tristeza'"
  • 1999 An Idea (Passacaglia por Eli)
  • 2000 Viaje a la Semilla
  • 2001 Nuevos Estudios Sencillos No. 11-20
  • 2004 Omaggio a Prokofiev
  • 2004 La Ciudad De Las Columnas
  • 2008 Paisaje Cubano con fiesta
  • Canción Triste
  • Cantilena de los bosques dedicata a Roberto Fabbri
  • Dos aires populares cubanos
  • Guajira criolla
  • Zapateado
  • Exaedros 1
  • Paisaje Cubano con lluvia
  • Paisaje Cubano con rumba
  • Piezas sin títulos No. 1-3
  • Variantes
  • Variations on a Piazzolla Tango
  • Dos Temas populares cubanos
• Drume negrita, cancion de cuna (Berceuse)
• Ojos Brujos


Guitar Duo
  • 1957-1958 Micropiezas Hommage à Darius Milhaud
  • 1958 Micropiezas No.5
  • 1964 Música incidental campesina, (music for Theaterplay El fantasma)
  • Per Suonare a Due
  • Triptoco
Guitar Quartet
  • Canciones remotas
  • Toccata para cuatro o más guitarras
  • Toccata
  • Paisaje Cubano Con Rumba
  • 1979 Acerca del cielo, el aire y la sonrisa


  • 1958 Tres danzas concertantes
  • 1983 Retrats Catalans
  • 1985 From yesterday to Penny Lane
  • 1995 Concierto Omaggio a Paganini (concerto for guitar and violin)
Guitar Concertos / Concierto para Guitarra
  • 19?? Concierto p.g. No. 1
  • 1981 Concierto p.g. No. 2 de Lieja
  • 1986 Concierto p.g. No. 3 Elegiaco
  • 1987 Concierto p.g. No. 4 de Toronto
  • 1991 Concierto p.g. No. 5 de Helsinki
  • 1997 Concierto p.g. No. 6 de Volos
  • 1998 Concierto p.g. No. 7 "La Habana"
  • 1999 Concierto p.g. No. 8 "Concierto Cantata de Perugia"
  • 2002 Concierto p.g. No. 9 "de Benicassim"
  • 2003 Concierto p.g. No. 10 "Book of Signs" (concerto for two guitars)
  • 2007 Concierto p.g. No. 11 "de Requim (In memoriam Toru Takemitsu)"



  • 1960 Sonata para cello solo
  • 1962 Variantes para un percusionista
  • Diary Of An Alien-Flute Solo (flute)


String Quartets
  • 1961 Cuarteto de cuerdas No. 1, a la memoria de Bela Bártok
  • Cuarteto de cuerdas No. 2
  • Cuarteto de cuerdas No. 3
  • Demeter Prelude
Other Chamber Music
  • 1970 Sonata piane forte for Piano and recorded tape
  • 1970 Per suonare a Tre (flute, alto, and guitar
  • 1983 Manuscrito antiguo encontrado en una botella for pianotrio
  • Balada for Flute and Strings
  • Canción de Gesta (para orquesta de cámara)
  • Sonate pour Cor et Piano
  • Pictures of Another Exhibition (violin, choir, and piano)
  • La Region Mas Transparente (flute and piano)
  • Basso Continuo I (2 clarinettes)
  • La Vida Misma (piano, violin, cello and percussion)'


  • 1984 Canciones remotas for string orchestra
  • Symphonie No. 1 (orchester)
  • Remembrances (orchester)
  • Anima Latina (Orchester)
  • Cadence Quatuor en Ré
Orchestra with other solo instruments
  • 1972 Balada, concierto para flauta y orquesta de cuerdas (flute und orchester)
  • 1972 Concierto para violín y orquesta (violin and orchester)
  • 1981 Cancion de Gesta (For the Boat Loaded with the Future) (symphonic windorchester with piano)



The sixth of his Etudes Simples was quoted by heavy metal guitarist Randy Rhoads (when he was working with Ozzy Osbourne) as the introduction to the song "Diary of a Madman". He composed music for the sound track of the celebrated Mexican movie Como Agua Para Chocolate (1992)[1]. He composed the orchestral score for Vicente Amigo's flamenco album, Poeta.


  1. ^ IMDb movie credits - Leo Brouwer as author of Original Music

External links




"LEO BROUWER" (2000). Documentary (35mm- 57 min). Written and Directed by JOSE PADRON. Co-Production ICAIC (Cuba), SGAE and Fundacion Autor de la Sociedad General de Autores y Editores de España (SGAE).

"LEO BROUWER-IRAKERE" (1978). Documentary (35mm-24 min). Written and Directed by JOSE PADRON. Production Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC).


"LEO BROUWER" is the most important and complete documentary of the life and work of Leo Brouwer. It was written and directed by the Cuban film maker JOSE PADRÓN between 1996 and 2000. The film was the result of a co-production between the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC), the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores de España (SGAE=, and the Fundación Autor of SGAE. The master negative was produced in 35mm with a duration of 57 minutes. ICAIC distributes it in private copies in the original Spanish as well as those with English sub-titles.

"LEO BROUWER-IRAKERE" documents an exceptional concert that sought to break the barrier between classical and popular music (Havana, 1978). Thus, it brought together for the first time Leo Brouwer -considered at the time one of the world´s most important guitar soloists - and the Afro-Cuban jazz group IRAKERE. The group, winner of a GRAMMY in 1978, and the # 1 ranking Latino jazz band, includes trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, saxophonist Paquito de Rivera, and pianist Chucho Valdés. The event brought together other stars as well. The film was written and directed by Cuban film maker JOSE PADRÓN between 1978 and 1979. Production was by the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos(ICAIC). The master negative was produced in 35mm with a duration of 24 minutes. ICAIC distributes it in private copies in the original Spanish as well as those with English sub-titles, together with the documentary "LEO BROUWER" of 57 minutes duration.

"FICTION WITHOUT FICTION" is a 30-minute version of the 57-minute documentary "LEO BROUWER. It summarizes the life and work of Leo Brouwer, and was written directed by Cuban film maker JOSE PADRÓN in 2002, and produced by PADRÓN himself with collaboration of the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC). The master negative was produced in 35mm, but was edited in AVID. ICAIC distributes it in private copies in the original Spanish as well as those with English sub-titles.




  • Leo Brouwer by Isabelle Hernández. (Andante. Editora Musical de Cuba) ISBN 959-7153-01-7
  • Gajes del oficio by Leo Brouwer [2]
  • Leo Brouwer and Music of Cuba by Costas Chizaris (Contemporary Music Editions, Athens) ISBN 960-7287-32-0


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Leo Brouwer. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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