It is not easy at all to comment on the work of Leo Brouwer, one of the most important and original Cuban composers of all time. Leo has the exceptional gift of having been able to harmoniously integrate the traditional and popular with the experimental and avant-garde; with the classic and the folkloric, leaving in all his work very explicit that desire to innovate while crossing all qualifying barriers of genres, styles and schools, to print his personal, deeply Cuban and universal stamp. As a composer, director and performer, Leo is synthesis and roots, full technical mastery and erudition, but at the same time, lyricism and passion, subjectivity at the edge of plucked string and pentagram. His art is for today, and for tomorrow, but without forgetting the origins ... I declare it without ambiguity: I am his fan. "

Rogelio Martínez Furé

Writer and folklorist

12 / II / 1999

With the continuous need to do new things, Leo Brouwer has had a foundational mission since his beginnings in art. Carrier of the eclectic sense of cultural activity, his professionalism and plural projection (interpreter, composer, pedagogue, researcher) have inserted him on the international scene for more than six decades. More specifically, in the last thirty years, he has been considered one of the most preponderant living composers of his generation. If he had only devoted himself to composition, it would be enough to assess its importance in such magnitude. The multidimensionality of this man with a global vision has become a leading personality of Cuban and universal culture, entrenched in history with that fruitful work that he bequeaths to us.



Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (France, 2018), is Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters of New York (2019), Honorary Member of the CIM of UNESCO, of the Italo-Latin American Institute, of the Academy of Fine Arts of Granada, Corresponding Academician of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Fine Arts and Noble Letters of Córdoba, Spain, Numerary Member of the Cuban Academy of the Language, among other memberships in prestigious international institutions. Composer, orchestral conductor, guitarist, researcher, educator and cultural promoter, Brouwer is among the most recognized musicians of the moment. It is enough to mention his work in the direction in Cuba of the first music departments of the ICAIC (1960) and of the Musical Theater of Havana (1962); in the foundation and direction of the Group of Sound Experimentation of the ICAIC (1968); as Guest Composer at the Berlin Academy of Sciences and Arts (DAAD, 1970), conducting more than 120 symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles around the world; in participating as a jury in numerous international guitar, composition and orchestral conducting competitions; in having a discography with his music that exceeds 900 records and a catalog of more than four hundred works that covers almost all genres and musical forms; in his work as Artistic Director of the Carrefour Mondial de la Guitare (Martinique, France overseas, 1976-2001); Principal Director of the Orchestra of Córdoba, Spain (1992-2001) and General Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba (1981-2003). He has more than three hundred international artistic and academic distinctions, among them: the “Manuel de Falla” Award (Andalusia, Spain, 1998); the Doctor Honoris Causa Degree at the University of the Arts (ISA) in Havana and at the University of Santiago de Chile; the MIDEM Classical Awards (Cannes, 2003) with its Helsinki Concert for guitar and orchestra; the Pablo Neruda Order (Santiago de Chile, 2007), the Goffredo Petrassi Prize for Composition (Zagarolo, 2008), the National Music Prize in its first edition (Cuba, 1999); the National Film Award (Cuba, 2009); the Tomás Luis de Victoria Ibero-American Music Award (SGAE, Spain, 2010) and two Latin Grammys (in 2010, for the full length of his string quartets and in 2017 with his work Sonata del Decamerón Negro, No. 3 for guitar) . Several groups and festivals bear his name such as: Brouwer Guitar Quartet from the United States, B3: Brouwer Trio from Valencia, Spain and the Young Philharmonic Leo Brouwer formed by musicians from various regions of Spain based in Córdoba. He has composed and dedicated works to renowned musicians such as Julian Bream, John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Carlos Prieto, Edin Karamazov, Andreas Scholl, Egberto Gismonti, Chucho Valdés, Eos Guitar Quartet, Ricardo Gallén, Pedro Chamorro, Costas Cotsiolis, Duo Bandini -Chiacchiaretta, Thibault Cauvin and Niurka González. Since April 2005, he has presided over the Leo Brouwer Office based in Havana and his own publishing house Ediciones Espiral Eterna. In December 2008 the Leo Brouwer International Violão Festival was created in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with a biennial frequency and in October 2009, the Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival in Havana on an annual basis (2009-2014) of which it was its president and executive producer. It has also produced the Les Voix Humaines Festival (Sept-Oct 2015), the Solidarity Concerts in 2016 and the Contratenores del Mundo Festival (Sept-Oct 2016) in Havana. Between 2016 and 2020 he has composed works requested by Adelaide Guitar Festival, Changsha International Guitar Festival, Japan Guitar Ensemble Festival, Guitar Foundation of America, Camerata Argentina de Guitarras, Quaternaglia, Tom Kerstens and G Ensemble Plus, Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Apollo Chamber Players, Newman & Oltman Duo, Global Education Center & Intersection, Joao Luiz Rezende, Anne Akiko Meyers, Kaori Muraji, and Virginia Luque.







By Leo Brouwer

Did you know:




  • In 1962 he structured the Musical Theater of Havana, one of the main projects of its kind in Latin America in the sixties? And that at the beginning of 1963 the world-renowned Chucho Valdés composed Nine New Jugglers, the first opening work of the company in which he also worked as a pianist?




  • Did he offer around six hundred concerts as a guitarist performing before audiences in more than forty countries?




  • In July 1972 he won the Record Prize in France with the Erato label Les classiques de Cuba phonogram and that with this record Brouwer obtained the highest score unanimously by the jury, moving Glenn Gould to second place and Fisher Diskau who occupied the third?




  • His guitar work in 1983 already reached the number of one hundred recordings?




  • On October 10, 1982, he was awarded the First Degree Félix Varela Order, Cuba's highest Cultural decoration and that just a few days later, on October 20, the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba presented him with the Alejo Carpentier Medal along with to other Cuban musicians and artists such as: Esther Borja, Harold Gramatges, Pablo Milanés and Silvio Rodríguez?




  • At present (July 2020) the discography with your music exceeds nine hundred and fifty records?




  • On March 1, 1960 he received the second prize in the 1st Amadeo Roldán Chamber Music Composition Competition, (the first of its kind in the country after the triumph of the revolution in 1959) with his work Trio for bow instruments and that the jury was made up of the Venezuelan Antonio Estévez, the Argentine Alejandro Barletta and the Cuban Enrique González Mántici? (The first prize was won by José Ardévol's Quartet No. 3 and the third, Juan Blanco with his Quintet, for flute, oboe, horn, piano and tympani).




  • Did you compose 102 soundtracks for Cuban cinema between documentaries and films?




  • On October 1, 1987, the 22nd General Assembly of the UNESCO International Music Council (CIM) was held in Brasilia, and on that day he was granted the status of Honorary Member for his creative activity recognized at a universal level and that nearly forty Connoted personalities of the musical world hold this membership, among them are or were: Dallapiccola, Ginastera, Kavalevsky, Jachaturiam, Krenek, Shostakovitch, Boulez, Lutoslawski, Penderecki, Petrassi, Menuhin, Shankar and Stern?




  • On October 15, 1988, after conducting the RAI Symphony Orchestra, Italy, he received two distinctions: the category of Honorary Member of the Society of Composers and Authors of Italy and the Annual Prize awarded by the Italian province of Rieti to outstanding personalities. of art, music and entertainment, awarded for his production as a symphonic composer, his contribution to Latin American cinematography with more than one hundred soundtracks and for the importance of his didactic music?




  • Have you been awarded more than three hundred distinctions in different countries?



  • His music is published by Ricordi, Schott, Max Eschig, Chester, Opera Tres, Gendai Guitar, Dobermann Yppan and more recently by his own publishing and record label, Ediciones Espiral Eterna?




  • Was he a guest composer at the Deutsche Akademische Austausdienst (DAAD) in Berlin between the end of 1971 and the first half of 1972?



  • In January 2003 he won the Cannes Classical Awards in the solo / orchestra category with a monographic album with his music from the Ondine label, with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Tuomas Ollila and Timo Korhonen on guitar?




  • Together with Alfredo Guevara, he organized the ICAIC Sound Experimentation Group in Havana in September 1969, which brought together popular musicians such as: Pablo Milanés, Noel Nicola, Sergio Vitier, Emiliano Salvador and Silvio Rodríguez, of which Brouwer was his teacher?



  • On January 22, 1964, in the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) the first audition of his random work Sonograma I for prepared piano took place and that with this concert begins in Cuba the period known as the avant-garde. musical? (Two weeks later Juan Blanco offered a concert where, for the first time in Cuba, concrete and electronic music was heard (Ensemble V and Studios I and II).




  • In June 1998, he was awarded the Manuel de Falla Prize awarded every two years by the Junta de Andalucía in Spain to personalities of musical culture who develop high-class artistic work?




  • New technical resources for the guitar were created from his compositions, which caused one of the most remarkable transformations in the technique of the instrument in the 20th century?