Musical Renaissance man brings us his world


Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti will return to Japan this month.

Born in 1947 to a family of musicians in Rio de Janeiro, Gismonti started learning piano, flute, clarinet and music theory at age 6. He began playing guitar at age 10. After 15 years of classical music training in Brazil, he studied orchestration and analysis under renowned music educator Nadia Boulanger and composer Jean Barraque in Paris.

He released his first album “Egberto Gismonti” in 1969.

Since returning to Brazil in 1971, Gismonti has explored a variety of genres, including Brazilian indigenous music, which he learned through living with tribal people in the Amazon.

He also spent two years experimenting with different tunings of a ten-stringed guitar, which he has used to adopt French composer Ravel’s orchestration and choro (Brazilian instrumental popular music) to his own music.

As a musician and composer versed in multiple instruments and genres (classical, jazz and pop), Gismonti has attracted a wide range of audiences with wild, strong, yet sophisticated music. He also has collaborated with many musicians, including Brazilian Nana Vasconcelos, American Collin Walcott and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

On the upcoming Japan tour, titled “The World of Egberto Gismonti,” he will collaborate with the New Japan Philharmonic orchestra under the baton of Japanese conductor Junichi Hirokami. The tour has two components, “Guitar Day” and “Piano Night,” both feature solo performances and sessions with the orchestra and are sure to provide insight into Gismonti’s musical world.

The World of Egberto Gismonti will be held at the Sumida Triphony Hall in Kinshicho, Tokyo. Guitar Day will be held Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. and Piano Night will be held Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. One-day tickets cost ¥7,000 to ¥8,000, and 2-day tickets are ¥14,400. For more information, call (03) 5608-1212 or visit www.triphony.com