Heitor Villa-Lobos Website logoImportant People
in the life of Villa-Lobos


November, 2004:

Please note that the Villa-Lobos Website is no longer being updated.

This resource will remain on the RDPL server.


Irineu de Almeida (1873-1916) - Brazilian popular music composer and early friend of Villa-Lobos.  AKA Irineu Batina.  A virtuoso of that great instument, the ophicleide

Mário de Andrade (1893-1945) - Brazilian poet, novelist, polemicist, folklorist, musicologist.  An important modernist, Andrade helped organize the  Semana de Arte Moderna ("Week of Modern Art"), held in São Paulo in February 1922, at which Villa-Lobos' music made a big impression.  Villa-Lobos and de Andrade had a rather ambiguous relationship over the years. 

Oswald de Andrade (1890-1954) - poet, playwright, revolutionary.  Another of the modernists, he published his literary manifesto Pau-Brasil (Brazil Wood) in 1925.  His literary movement Antropofagia, or "Cannibalism" helped to spur on Villa-Lobos' own Indianist experiments. 

Ellen Ballon (1898-1954) - Canadian pianist.  A child prodigy who played for President Taft at the White House, Ballon had a long career as a concert pianist and recording artist.  In the 40's she became a close friend of Villa-Lobos.  She commissioned the first piano concerto, playing the piece at its Rio de Janeiro premiere at the Teatro Municipal on October 11, 1946.  Ballon recorded the concerto with Ernest Ansermet and the Orchestre de la Suisse romande (London LL 77, 1949) and made a number of other Villa-Lobos piano recordings on the London label on 78's and later on LP in the 40's and 50's.  Ballon's papers (which include the manuscript of the concerto) are in the archives of the Killam Memorial Library at Dalhouse University in Nova Scotia. 

Walter Burle Marx (1902-1991) - Brazilian composer/conductor/pianist.  Burle Marx was a great advocate of Villa-Lobos in America.  The Brazilian Music Collection of The University of Akron's Bierce Library contains archives donated by the Burle Marx family. 

Claude Champagne (1891-1965) - Canadian composer and music educator, a friend of Villa-Lobos.  Champagne and Villa-Lobos shared visits to Rio de Janeiro and Montreal in the 1940s and 1950s. 

Chiquinha (1847-1935) - Brazilian composer and friend of Villa-Lobos - her real name was Francisca Hedwiges Gonzaga.  Pixinguina (q.v.) was her son. 

Max Eschig (1872-1927) - French music publisher.  Eschig was an early supporter of Villa-Lobos, and his firm (Editions Max Eschig) published the bulk of Villa-Lobos' works. 

 Agnelo França (1875-1964) - Brazilian composer and music teacher.  The young Villa-Lobos took sporadic composition and harmony lessons with him.
                      Federico García Lorca (1898-1936) - Spanish poet and dramatist.  The play Yerma became an opera with music by Villa-Lobos, written by Garcia Lorca in the early '50's, but not produced until 1971, when it was staged at Santa Fé.  1999 is the Garcia Lorca centennial.
The Guinle brothers - Arnaldo (1884-1964) and Carlos (1883-1969) - Brazilian philanthropists.  Their generous grants of money to Villa-Lobos allowed him to spend more than three years in Paris, from 1927-1930.  This was money well spent; it allowed Villa-Lobos to learn from the great masters who lived in Paris at the time, and to create his Brazilian persona.  The Guinle legacy is one of the great stories in the history of philanthropy.
Antonio Carlos Gomes (1836-1896) - Brazilian composer.  Gomes was the first great home-grown composer of Brazil; he made a world-wide splash with his 1870 opera Il Guarany.  At the end of Villa-Lobos' life he was honoured to receive the Carlos Gomes Medal (on July 13, 1959, a few months before his death.)
George Hufsmith (1924- ) - American composer who was Villa-Lobos' only composition pupil.  Check out the Hufsmith page on this site for more information.



José Arcadio Limon - Mexican dancer and choreographer, who presented the ballet The Emperor Jones, to the music of Villa-Lobos, in 1956.  He also acted as choreographer for the famous staging of Yerma at Santa Fé in 1971.

Ernesto Julio de Nazaré, or Nazareth (1863-1934) - Brazilian composer and pianist.  Villa-Lobos had a deep respect for Nazareth; he called him "Alma Brasileira," the "Soul of Brazil."

Aldo Parisot - Brazilian cellist. Villa-Lobos wrote his Cello Concerto no. 2 for Parisot in 1954.
Pixinguina (1898-1973) - Brazilian composer of popular music, Pixinguina was the son of Villa-Lobos' friend Francisca
Hedwiges Gonzaga (Chiquinha).
Artur Rubinstein (1887-1982) - great pianist and exact contemporary of Villa-Lobos.  Rubinstein was the first important patron of Villa-Lobos, who wrote Rudêpoema for him.  Rubinstein's entertaining book My Many Years (NY, Knopf, 1980) contains many reminiscences of the early days in Rio de Janeiro.  It was Rubinstein who convinced the Guinle brothers (q.v.) to sponsor Villa-Lobos' trip.
Bidú SayãoBidú Sayão ( 1902-1999) - great Brazilian soprano, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1937, beginning a career that spanned many decades.  She sang in many Villa-Lobos premieres and important concerts.  Her performance of the aria from Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5 is famous - in the words of Alfred Heller, "when Sayão sang it, it was otherworldly, a great spiritual experience."  It was sad indeed to hear of her death in March 1999.
Andrés Segovia (1893-1987) - great Spanish virtuoso of the classical guitar.  Segovia and Villa-Lobos became close friends after they met in Spain in the early 1920's.  Segovia inspired nearly all of Villa-Lobos' music for the guitar, and commissioned the Guitar Concerto.  Beside the Villa-Lobos works, Segovia inspired much of the great guitar music of the century, by composer including Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Alfredo Casella, Joaquín Turina, Manuel M. Ponce, and Albert Roussel.
Florent Schmitt (1870-1958) - French composer and critic.  Schmitt was Villa-Lobos' biggest booster in Paris during the 1920's, and became a close friend.  As music critic of Le Temps, Schmitt brought forward Villa-Lobos' works to a large and important French audience.  Villa-Lobos re-paid these favours during Schmitt's 1949 trip to Brazil.  Lisa Peppercorn reprints the concert program of "Outras Homenagens a Florent Schmitt," which Villa-Lobos organized in Rio de Janeiro in November 1949, in her article "H. Villa-Lobos in Paris," 1985, Villa-Lobos: Collected Studies by L.M. Peppercorn, p. 228.



Getúlio (Dorneles) Vargas (1883-1954) - President and dictator of Brazil, 1930-1945 and 1951-1954.  Vargas' relatively benign dictatorship was based on populist and social reform ideas combined with very strong nationalist ideas current in Europe at the same time.  The first Vargas era saw Villa-Lobos at home in Brazil, between his first Paris trips of the 20's and his global wanderings after WWII.  Villa-Lobos participated fully in the re-invention of Brazil through his popular music education and massed choral patriotic spectacles.

Arminda Neves d'Almeida Villa-Lobos (1901-1985) - companion of Villa-Lobos from 1936 until his death in 1959.  She officially took the name Villa-Lobos, though Villa-Lobos never divorced his first wife.  After Villa-Lobos' death, Armina became the Director of the Museu Villa-Lobos in 1960, until her death in 1985.  Arminda was herself a musician and a significant help to Villa-Lobos.

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) - Brazilian composer, who liked cigars, kites and billiards. 

Lucilia Guimarães Villa-Lobos (1886-1966) - Villa-Lobos wife.  Married in 1912 and separated in 1936. 

Noemia Umbelina Villa-Lobos (1859-1946)- Villa-Lobos' mother, married to Raul Villa-Lobos in 1884. 

Raul Villa-Lobos (1862-1899) - Villa-Lobos' father, an assistant librarian, writer, amateur cellist. 


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