Probably the best-known of all South American composers, Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 – 1959) was influenced by both Brazilian folk music and the European classical tradition. Uninterested in a formal musical education, Villa-Lobos taught himself cello and guitar, and set out to explore the Amazon.
He later moved to New York, but never forgot his Brazilian musical roots. Villa-Lobos named his work Assobio a Jato (“The Jet Whistle”) to describe the unorthodox technique the flutist must use in the last movement: blowing with the mouth fully covering the mouthpiece.
Flutist Meredith Packer asked me to join her in playing this piece for a recital in 2013.