Brazil Residency

For many years I have been curious about Brazil, and must admit a deep fascination from afar with its remarkable legacy of brilliant songwriters and performers, from Antonio Carlos Jobim, to Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethania, Ivan Lins, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, and so many others.

In the field of classical art music, a particularly beautiful piece from Brazil is the soprano solo with chamber orchestra from “Bachianas Brasileiras No.5” by Heitor Villa Lobos. My favorite performance of that piece was sung about a year ago by soprano Laia Falcon on an island in the Netherlands. Early this year I enjoyed hearing Njål Vindenes perform one of the many brilliant guitar solos by Villa-Lobos.

I am very thankful to now be receiving funding from the government of Brazil, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico "National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development" (CNPq), for a brief stay as Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre. While there, I will be giving lectures and advising research for the university’s PhD program in music (regarded as among the very best in Latin America), and doing some performing and workshops. The Brazilian institution has approached Bergen University College about some collaborative research projects, and other forms of cooperation. The music programs in Bergen already have agreements with universities in many different countries, but this is our first prospect in Latin America, and I have also been helping the institution to develop relations with institutions in East Asia across recent years (both China and Japan).
From Brazil, Professor Liane Hentschke and I will also give a presentation via videoconference for the national Chinese music education association meeting in Shanghai regarding development of the Open Global Academy of Music initiative, based in Beijing. During this time, I will also film a teaching video and do some videoconferencing for the PhD program in Bergen, so our Norwegian students can get a taste of what is available in Brazil. Upon returning to Europe, I will go to Iceland for the annual meeting of the Nordic Network for Music Education, and respond to papers by Master students from various Nordic and Baltic nations.