Nepomuceno, Alberto (1864-1920)

suiteantigaAlberto Nepomuceno was the most important Brazilian composer of the generation before Villa-Lobos.  Born in Fortaleza, he was active in Rio de Janeiro around the time of Villa's birth in 1887, when he published his Opus 1, a piece for cello & piano. He moved to Europe the following year, and studied in Berlin.  He also became close with Edvard Grieg at that time.  He returned to Rio de Janeiro in 1895, and was active as a teacher.  He was a mentor to the young Villa-Lobos, and helped arrange the first performance of the (First) Cello Concerto in 1919.

There are a number of scores of Nepomuceno's music available at the International Music Score Library Project, including the op. 11 Suite Antiga [right] from 1893.  The Suite Antiga features in the 1994 Naxos disc of piano works with Maria Inês Guimarães, 8.223548.

From the 2005 Finding Aid to the Library of Congress Music Division's Alberto Nepomuceno Collection:

"The Alberto Nepomuceno Collection reveals a major composer who was a pioneer among Brazilian musicians and who was recognized as the "father" of musical nationalism in his country. In addition to being the first to incorporate native themes and rhythms into art music in Brazil, he developed a brilliant career as a prominent teacher and theoretician, an orchestra conductor, pianist and organist, and a musical administrator."