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Leo Brouwer

Cuban classical guitarist and composer

Personal Life

Brouwer was born in Havana. When he was 13, he began classical guitar lessons.

He has written some of the most popular pieces of the 20th century guitar repertoire. The composer’s output can be divided into three distinct creative periods. In the nationalism period, influenced by Cuban popular music, we have works like the Preludes and Fugues, the ‘Piezas Sin Titulo’ and others. The avant-guard period is influenced by atonalism. Pieces like ‘La Espiral Eterna’ and ‘Canticum’ are representative of this period. The world-music-like period, his current phase, is a mixture of everything he has done. ‘El Decameron Negro’ and his ‘Sonata’ are good examples of his latest pieces.



His Simple Studies for guitar are among his first works, influenced by Cuban Nationalism. They feature a very personal style of writing and cover a wide variety of musical textures, idioms and basic guitar techniques.

They have great pedagogical use for the beginner and the intermediate student, for they work with all the basics of guitar playing. They also serve as an introduction to contemporary music for students who are most likely playing studies by Carcassi, Sor, Carulli and Giuliani, which are representative of the classical period. The Brouwer Studies introduce different harmonic, rhythmic and melodic structures, for students who are used to playing tonal harmonies and square forms, in a way that connects the classical guitar tradition to the music of our day. Therefore, they fill a gap in the guitar repertoire, also being useful for concert performance.


Did You Know?

He is the grandson of Cuban composer Ernestina Lecuona y Casado

leo brouwer

Leo Brouwer Recordings


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