Mozart Camargo Guarnieri
Mozart Camargo Guarnieri (February 1, 1907 – January 13, 1993) was a Brazilian composer.
Guarnieri was born in Tietê, São Paulo, and registered at birth as Mozart Guarnieri, but when he began a musical career, he decided his first name was too pretentious. Thus he adopted his mother's maiden name Camargo as a middle name, and thenceforth signed himself M. Camargo Guarnieri. In 1948, he legally changed his name to Mozart Camargo Guarnieri, but continued to sign only the initial of his first name. Guarnieri's Italian father, Michele Guarneri, a lover of classical music, named one of Camargo's brothers Rossine (a Portuguese misspelling of Rossini), and two others Verdi and Bellini.
Guarnieri studied piano with Ernani Braga and Antonio de Sá Pereira [pt] and composition with Lamberto Baldi [pt; de; es] at the Conservatório Dramático e Musical de São Paulo. In 1938, a fellowship from the Council of Artistic Orientation allowed him to travel to Paris, where he studied composition and aesthetics with Charles Koechlin and conducting with François Ruhlmann. Some of his compositions received important prizes in the United States in the 1940s, giving Guarnieri the opportunity of conducting them in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago. A distinguished figure of the Brazilian national school, he served in several capacities; conductor of the São Paulo Orchestra, member of the Academia Brasileira de Música, and Director of the São Paulo Conservatório, where he taught composition and orchestral conducting. In 1936 he was the first conductor of the Coral Paulistano choir. His œuvre comprises symphonies, concertos, cantatas, two operas, chamber music, many piano pieces, and over fifty songs. In 1972, in Porto Alegre, his compatriot Roberto Szidon gave the first performance of the Piano Concerto No. 4. Some consider him to be the most important Brazilian composer after Heitor Villa-Lobos. Shortly before his death in São Paulo in 1993, he was awarded the Gabriela Mistral Prize by the Organization of American States as the greatest contemporary composer of the Americas.
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