Nestor de Hollanda Cavalcanti - Resumé

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Born in 1949 in Rio de Janeiro, Nestor de Hollanda Cavalcanti began his musical studies with José Miranda Pinto (trumpet) and, later, with Elpídio Pereira de Faria (musical theory and appreciation). In 1967, he had classes with Maria Aparecida Ferreira (reading and writing) and composer Guerra-Peixe, under who he studied at Pró-Arte Art School, the Sound and Image Museum, and the Centro de Estudos Musicais (Centre for Musical Studies) (harmony, counterpoint, morphology, orchestration and composition) between 1967 and 1973.

In 1969, he studied analysis with Esther Scliar at Pró-Arte and, from 1966 to 1970, guitar with Pereira Filho and Jodacil Damasceno. Between the years 1967 and 1976, he took courses on Brazilian Music and Musical Prosody, organised by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s Music School; Get to know Brazil through Folklore, promoted by the Fine Arts Museum; Aesthetics, offered by the City Museum’s Friends’ Association.

He taught guitar at the Brazilian Music Conservatory and at the Villa-Lobos Music School, from 1975 to 1979; he was a guest teacher at the 3rd Londrina Music Festival in 1985, where he taught courses on philosophy and music. Between 1984 and 1986, he was a director and teacher (harmony, counterpoint and composition) of Esquimbau - Nucleus of Musical Studies.

He worked for several years at the National Music Institute of Funarte (National Arts Foundation), where he acted as a researcher, archivist (phonographic archives), musical reviser, phonographic editor and producer of Pró-Memus, where he was also a coordinator.

He has worked as an editor, with articles published in several Brazilian publications, such as VivaMúsica!, Jornal da Música, Cadernos de Música, Tribuna da Imprensa, etc. Among his most important articles are "Theses on Music", written together with Antonio Jardim for Encontros com a Civilização Brasileira magazine, issue 8, 1979; "On Repertoire", in Music: Texts and Contexts, Funarte/INM, 1985; and the essay "Music and Dialectics".

He was musical director and arranger of the Cobra Coral (The Cultura Inglesa Choir), which was one of the groups responsible for the renovation in choir singing in Brazil, and, from 1984 to 1987, of the Orquestra de Vozes - A Garganta Profunda.

He is a popular music arranger and record producer; the Orquestra de Vozes - A Garganta Profunda album was considered by the Rio daily Jornal do Brasil newspaper as one of the 10 best records of 1986. In that same year, upon a request from the Popular Music Division of Funarte, he was in charge of composing arrangements, as well as of the musical direction and coproduction (together with researcher Jairo Severiano) of the album "Yes, nós temos Braguinha", celebrating the popular composer’s 80th birthday. In 1987, he made arrangements and the musical script of "Garganta canta Beatles" (Garganta sings The Beatles), considered as one of the best shows of the year by the Jornal do Brasil and the Encyclopaedia Britannica of Brazil.

During the period form 1992 to 1994, he worked at the National Library Foundation, where he held the positions of Advisor and, later, Head of the Sound Archives and Musical Division.

Some of his works were granted awards and prizes in national and international composition contests, including: "Brincadêra dum matroá", for choir, "Toré, dos cabocolinhos", for string orchestra, and "Divertimento... mesmo", for nonet, finalists in the 1st National Composition Contest promoted by the Madrigal Renascentista de Belo Horizonte in 1974, the composition contests promoted by the Government of Paraíba State in 1976, and by the Goethe Institute in 1977, respectively; "Micro-concerto no. 1", for flute and chamber orchestra, honourable mention at the Esso Prize for Classical Music of 1979; "Widersprüche (Contradições)", for septet, second prize winner at the Latin-American Composition Contest, promoted by the Goethe Institute of Munich of 1975; "Suíte quadrada", for guitar, second prize winner at the National Composition Contest , promoted by INM/Funarte and Vitale Publishers in 1978-79; "Cobras e lagartos", for choir and orchestra, Best creative work award of the MPB-Shell Contest, promoted by Globo Television Network in 1981. [See Performers]

He has been commissioned to write several pieces, most notably: "O morcego", for choir, commissioned by INM/Funarte in 1978; "Peça de confronto para coro misto juvenil (descontraído!)", for choir, commissioned by Jornal do Brasil for the 7th Choir Contest of Rio de Janeiro in 1980; "Conversa mole", for bass and piano, requested by INM/Funarte in 1982; "Ária para Sônia", for orchestra, commissioned in 1985 by the Rio Foundation for the Brazilian Music Orchestra conducted by Roberto Gnattali; "Rhapsody around the clock", arrangement on rock themes for orchestra, requested by the organising committee of the 2nd Rock in Rio festival (Artplan Advertising and Globo TV Network) in 1990; "Peace to the City", for soprano, violin, violoncello and piano, commissioned by the World Council of Churches for Expo-Hannover - 2000; "Suíte quase clássica", for woodwind quintet and drums (optional), commissioned by Funarte in 2010.

Since 1976, the composer has taken part in various different events related to music held in Brazil, such as: Contemporary Brazilian Music Biennial, organised by Funarte; New Music Festival of Santos City; Contemporary Music Festival of São Paulo City; the Music of the 20th Century series, promoted by Jornal do Brasil and The Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra, between 1980 and 1984; Rio de Janeiro Choir Contest, promoted by Jornal do Brasil; Up-To-Date Brazilian Music Panorama, held by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro School of Music, as of 1978; Encounters with Brazilian Contemporary Music, a UNI-Rio university initiative form 1983 to 1984; Contemporary Music Festival of Belo Horizonte City, and also several music festivals held in Brasilia, Salvador, Porto Alegre and other major Brazilian cities.

Abroad his works have been performed in Latin America (Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay), Europe (Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, the Netherlands), United States, Africa (Angola), and have featured in Brazilian Music Exhibitions in Japan (1976) and Canada (1978).

During 1995 and 1996, the composer was Director of the Music Division of the Arts and Culture Municipal Institute - RioArte, the unit in charge of promoting several musical events in Rio de Janeiro City, as well as publishing CDs and scores.


  • Albin, Ricardo Cravo (Criação e supervisão geral): Dicionário Houaiss ilustrado [da] música popular brasileira; Instituto Antônio Houaiss, Instituto Cultural Cravo Albin; Editora Paracatu; Rio de Janeiro, (2006);
  • Aguiar, Ernani: Catálogo de obras; Academia Brasileira de Música; Rio de Janeiro (2005);
  • Cacciatore, Olga G.: Dicionário Biográfico de Música Erudita Brasileira; Editora Forense Universitária, Rio de Janeiro (2005);
  • Catálogo Geral: Banco de Partituras de Música Brasileira; Academia Brasileira de Música, Rio de Janeiro (2005);
  • Cavalcanti, Nestor de Hollanda: Às voltas com o canto coral; in "Ensaios: Olhares sobre a Música Coral Brasileira", Centro de Estudos de Música Coral, Rio de Janeiro (2006);
  • Cavalcanti, Nestor de Hollanda: Guerra-Peixe, "seu maestro"; in "Guerra-Peixe: Um músico Brasileiro", Lumiar Editora, Rio de Janeiro (2007);
  • Compositores Brasileiros: Nestor de Hollanda Cavalcanti - Catálogo de Obras; Itamaraty e Sociedade Brasileira de Música Contemporânea (1976);
  • Dicionário de Música; Zahar, Rio de Janeiro (1984);
  • Dictionary of International Biography; I.B. Center, England (1976);
  • Ellmerich, Luis: História da Música, 5ª edição, Fermata do Brasil (1986);
  • Enciclopédia da Música Brasileira; Art Editora: Publifolha, São Paulo (1998);
  • Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musician (Brazilian edition) (1994);
  • Hannu Annala and Heiki Matlik: Handbook of Guitar and Lute Composers (MEL BAY PRESENTS - eBook: 98524EB);
  • Mariz, Vasco: História da Música no Brasil; 5ª edição ampliada e atualizada; Editora Nova Fronteira, Rio de Janeiro (2000);
  • Mariz, Vasco: História da Música Brasileira; Civilização Brasileira, Rio de Janeiro (1984);
  • Men of Achievement; I.B. Center, Inglaterra (1979);
  • Mello, Zuza Homem de: A Era dos Festivais; Editora 34, São Paulo (2003);
  • Moura, Paulo Celso: Música informal brasileira - Estudo analítico e catálogo de obras; Editora UNESP, São Paulo (2011);
  • Música Brasileira para Orquestra - Cadastro Geral - Organizado por João Guilherme Ripper; FUNARTE/INM/Projeto Orquestras, Rio de Janeiro (1988);
  • Teixeira, Moacyr Garcia Neto: Música Contemporânea Brasileira para Violão; Moacyr Teixeira Neto/Vitória: Gráfica e Editora A1, Vitória, ES (1995?);
  • Ray, Sonia: Catálogo de Obras Brasileiras Eruditas para Contrabaixo; ANNABLUME-FAPESP, São Paulo (1996)
  • Regenmorter, Paula J. Van (University of Maryland, College Park. Music): Brazilian Music for Saxophone: A Survey of Solo and Small Chamber Works; ProQuest, 2009 [ISBN 1109199317, 9781109199314]
  • Who's Who in Music in the World; vol 10, International Biographical Center, England (1978);


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