Mozart Camargo Guarnieri

February 01, 1907 – January 13, 1993

Modern Period

Born in Brazil

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Camargo Guarnieri (his father named all his children after a great composer) began studying music at age 10. When his family moved to Sao Paulo, he played piano for silent movies and in café bands to help pay for more music lessons. He began composing pieces with popular and folk influences before he began as a choral conductor within Sao Paulo’s newly formed Department of Culture. This led to an opportunity to study in Paris in 1938 where, among others, he attended master classes with Nadia Boulanger.

After his Paris studies, he won an award for his violin concerto then premiered his Symphony No. 2 in Brazil and the U.S. That work became known as “Symphony of the Americas.” His Symphony No. 3 was written for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Sao Paulo, and he went on to write in almost every genre of classical music, including opera, sonatas, and over 200 works, many of which have been adapted by popular musicians.