Heitor Villa-Lobos was born (5 March 1887) and died (17 November 1959) in Rio de Janeiro. His father taught him the cello and the basics of music. The rest came from playing in bands and orchestras and reacting to the European music that he experienced. He came to Europe in the twenties where these influences coalesced with his Brazilian roots to produce a string of works essentially South American in style and colour, yet of a somewhat unique quality in overall effect.
CD Spotlight. A Master of Improvisation - Music by Roland Dyens played by Anna Mnich and recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The guitarist is clean in her execution, sympathetic in her musical treatment and her harmonics are flawless.'
CD Spotlight. A Superb Set - The complete symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Octogenarian Brazilian conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky's performances are fine and show no lack of passion or vigour.'
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Engaging - Villa-Lobos, Bax and Bolcom from Kerry Duwors and Futaba Niekawa, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the sheer musicianship, combined with flawless technique and imaginative programming, never fails to impress me.'
Plangent and Nimble - Naples-born clarinettist and composer Luca Luciano impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Intimately Done - Paul Sarcich was at the Echoes Festival's PanAmericana concert, which illustrated the cross-influence between North and South American music
CD Spotlight. No Reservations Here - The Meridian Arts Ensemble, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... an unusually broad span of inspired composition.'
CD Spotlight. Captivating Rhythms - Music for cello and piano, recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'Inspired programming, stellar performances and excellent recorded sound ...'
CD Spotlight. Colourful Palette - Villa-Lobos symphonies, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The São Paulo players respond with joyous enthusiasm to the rhythmic vitality and ingenious orchestration of these scores ...'
Ensemble. Special Offer - Two top guitarists for the price of one, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Vibrancy and Diversity - Choral music from Brazil appeals to Gerald Fenech. '... a strong touch of lyricism and a reverential approach ...'
Ensemble. Guitar and Cello - Maria Nockin listens to Eliot Fisk and Yehuda Hanani
CD Spotlight. Melancholic Treatment - Iberian and Latin solo piano music, heard by Ron Bierman. 'Rosa Antonelli over-caresses most of these nostalgic Latin pieces.'
An Invaluable Book - Gergely Hubai's 'Torn Music: Rejected film scores, a selected history', recommended by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Brazilian Flags - The Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Chalk and Cheese - The nylon-string guitar of Tony R Clef, heard by Howard Smith. '... extraordinary recorded clarity.'
Ensemble. Songs of Exiles - The Canterbury Cellos, heard by Howard Smith
New Year Blues - A roundup of recent London concerts by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Spellbinding Artistry - Jonathan Plowright plays Chopin, recommended by Howard Smith. '... positively hair-raising.'
Ensemble. Dancing in the Air - Mary Isaac enjoys a concert of music from Latin America
'Shooting the Pianist'! - The eerie case of a South-American pianistic 'revenant', by Malcolm Troup
Ensemble. Clarity and Honesty - Malcolm Troup's recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields, reviewed by Julian Jacobson
The good kind of music - American composer Sean Hickey in conversation with Ted Kendall
Provocations - Alistair Hinton and Chad Wozniak discuss Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'
CD Spotlight. An ideal showcase - Guitar music by Villa-Lobos, reviewed by Robert Hugill. '... charming and creditable.'
CD Spotlight. Always stimulating - Symphonic music by Villa-Lobos, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... skill and commitment ...'
Record box. Impetuous abandon - Ron Bierman is amazed by the playing of Marc-André Hamelin
CD Spotlight - Profiles of the mountains. 'The Stuttgart team plays with the necessary conviction and power ...' Symphonies by Villa-Lobos, considered by Robert Anderson
Stage presence - Keith Bramich listens to soprano Anya Szreter in London's Regent Hall