IU new home to well-known website honoring famed Brazilian composer

Guest post courtesy of IU Newsroom colleague Brittany Aders:

Indiana University is the new home for a website known internationally to devotees and scholars of famed Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. The Jacobs School of Music and Latin American Music Center unveiled the newly university-owned website on Wednesday, March 5, the composer’s 127th birthday.

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Villa-Lobos’ music continues to hold a significant place to the Latin American community because it was culturally distinct from the European music of his time, mixing Brazilian popular sounds and concert music. He is also considered an inspirational figure due to his strong nationalism, a man who promoted the varying landscape of Brazilian culture and traditions while adding his own personality to create a newly inspired Brazilian identity. His music is still performed around the world, and events continue to recognize his contribution to the Latin music world.

“When people talk about rock ‘n roll, names like the Beatles and Elvis pop up,” Latin American Music Center director Erick Carballo said. “Villa-Lobos is a name that always, always comes up when discussing 20th century Latin American art music.”

The website honoring Villa-Lobos was created by Dean Frey, director of Red Deer Public Library in Alberta, Canada, who maintained it for nearly two decades. His retirement last year prompted him to seek a new owner for the site, and the shift to IU was made official in December 2013. Carballo said Frey chose IU because of his confidence in the Latin American Music Center’s commitment to Latin American musical study, as well as the strong reputation of IU’s University Information Technology Services to maintain the site.

“Taking hold of this site is a true honor, but also comes with a great deal of responsibility,” Carballo said. “The site’s mission aligns perfectly with the Latin American Music Center’s mission: to foster the academic study, performance and research of Latin American art, popular and traditional music, and we look forward to collaborating with other institutions around the world to share its content in other formats and languages.”

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