Mendes, Gilberto (1922–)

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Mendes, Gilberto (1922–)

Gilberto Mendes (b. 13 October 1922), Brazilian composer, teacher, critic. Gilberto Mendes has been associated with experimental movements in Brazilian music, most notably the Música Nova group. The Manifesto música nova, published in 1963, expressed a commitment to explore every aspect of contemporary musical language, including concertism, impressionism, polytonalism, atonality, serialism, phono-mechanical sound, and all aspects of electronic media. Composers associated with the Música Nova group included Willy Correia de Oliveira, Rogério Duprat, Damiano Cozzella, and Júlio Medaglia.

Mendes studied composition with Henri Pousseur, Pierre Boulez, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. One of his best-known compositions, "Beba Coca-Cola" (Drink Coca-Cola), is a satire on a Coca-Cola commercial. In 1970 his composition "Blirium a-9" was chosen by the International Council of Composers of UNESCO for broadcast in Europe. In 1974 his composition "Santos Football Music" won an award from the Associação Paulista de Críticos de Artes as the best experimental work. In 1973 "Pausa e Menopausa" (Pause and Menopause), a composition based on a poem of Ronaldo Azeredo, explored the idea of indeterminacy, in which music could be written as poetry without text, music without sound, and visual impressions without sound. In 1978–1979 Mendes accepted an appointment at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1983 he was a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin. During this period numerous performances of his works were given in the United States. He has received many honors, including the Premio Carlos Gomes, the Premio Santos Vivo and the 2003 Premio Sergio Mota, all in Brazil.

See alsoMusic: Popular Music and Dance .


Gérard Béhague, Music in Latin America (1979).

David P. Appleby, The Music of Brazil (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Bezerra, Márcio. A Unique Brazilian Composer: A Study of the Music of Gilberto Mendes through Selected Piano Pieces. Brussels: A. van Kerckhoven, 2003.

Gandelman, Saloméa. 36 compositores brasileiros: Obras para piano (1950–1988). Rio de Janeiro: Ministro da Cultura, Funarte, 1997.

Santos, Antonio Eduardo. O antropofagismo na obra pianística de Gilberto Mendes. São Paulo: Annablume: FAPSEP, 1997.

                                 David P. Appleby

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Mendes, Gilberto (1922–)

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