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Celebrated Cuban Composer, Conductor to Visit Buffalo State

Celebrated Cuban Composer, Conductor to Visit Buffalo State

Posted: February 8, 2018

Acclaimed Cuban guitarist, composer, and conductor Leo Brouwer will visit Buffalo State February 16–17 for a talk, masterclass, and tribute performance as part of the Great Lakes Guitar Society’s (GLGS) Sixth Annual Women of Guitar Festival.

“We are exceedingly excited to welcome Maestro Brouwer to our campus,” said Evan Drummond, faculty guitarist in the college’s Music Department. “This is an extremely rare opportunity. I can count on two hands the number of days Brouwer has been on U.S. soil in the last two decades.”

On Friday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Louis P. Ciminelli Recital, Brouwer will share a one-hour presentation about his life as a conductor, composer, and cultural icon, followed by Drummond and Orlay Alonso performing his Toronto Concerto. The Buffalo State Guitar Ensemble will open the concert with a performance of his Cuban Landscapes with Rumba.

On February 17, Brouwer will present a masterclass for Buffalo State music students from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., the public can enjoy a Brouwer Tribute Concert in the Ciminelli Recital Hall presented by Cuban guitarist Olga Perez Flora and Cuban soprano Iliana Matos. At this event, Brouwer will receive GLGS’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

General admission is $15 for the February 16 performance and $10 for the February 17 concert. Students with ID will be admitted for free. On both evenings, a pre-concert reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. that is open and free to the public.

Brouwer has a storied career that began in the early 1960s when he served as the music adviser to the National Radio and Television Company in Havana, Cuba. He also directed the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (Cuban Institute of Film Arts and Industry) and served as a professor of composition at Cuba’s National Conservatory.

He went on to write more than 30 film scores, including Like Water for Chocolate (1992) and A Walk in the Clouds (1995), and he’s conducted orchestras around the world. In 1998, Brouwer was awarded the Manuel de Falla prize, and in 1999, the national music prize for Cuba.

In recent years, Brouwer has performed his unique series of guitar concertos, as well as written for a variety of other ensembles, most notably his horn trio of 2002, Pictures of Another Exhibition. His latest concerto for guitar is Double Concerto (Book of Signs).

“This is truly a substantial opportunity for our students and the community,” Drummond said.  

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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