The Brazilian composer Marlos Nobre was born in Recife, Pernambuco, in February 18, 1939. He studied piano and music theory at the Conservatory of Music of Pernambuco (1948-1959), and Composition with H.J.Koellreutter and Camargo Guarnieri (1960-1962). Further, with a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation, he followed advanced studies at the Latin American Center in Buenos Aires, with Ginastera, Messiaen, Malipiero, Copland and Dallapiccola (1963-1964). He worked also with Alexander Goehr and Gunther Schuller at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (1969) where he worked also with Leonard Bernstein. The same year he studied electronic music at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York.
He received numerous prizes among them the First Prize at the following Composers Competitions: Music and Musicians of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro (1960); Broadcasting Music Inc. Award, New York, USA (1961); The Brazilian Song Contest, Rio de Janeiro (1962); Ernesto Nazareth National Competition, Brazilian Academy of Music, Rio de Janeiro (1963); National Composers Contest, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1963); Torcuato Di Tella Award, Buenos Aires (1963); City of Santos Contest, São Paulo (1966); the UNESCO Prize, Paris (1974); the I TRIMALCA/UNESCO Prize, Colombia (1979).
He participated in many international Festivals, such as: the IV and VI Biennale of Paris (1965 and 1969); the ISCM Festival “World Music Days” in London (1970),Helsinki (1978) and Amsterdam (1985); the Musik Protokoll in Graz (1974 and 1987); the XIX Festival Autumm in Warsow (1975); the Festival of America and Spain, Madrid (1967 and 1970); the Interamerican Music Festival in Washington (1968,1974,1982,1985,1986); the X Diorama of Contemporary Music in Geneve, Switzerland (1973); the Festival of Maracaibo, Venezuela (1977); the Festival “Music of Our Time”, Indiana University, USA (1981); the EXPO “Weltkulturen und Moderne Kunst”, Munich, Germany (1972); the Festival Pablo Casals in Puerto Rico (1974); the Festival “Musicultura” in Amsterdam, Holland (1979); the First International Festival of Contemporary Music in La Habana, Cuba (1984); the International Forum of New Music in Mexico City (1984 to 2000); Sounds of the Americas: Brazil, Carnegie Hall, New York, with the American Composers Orchestra (1996); 22° International Gulbenkian Festival of Contemporary Music, Lisboa, Portugal (1998); IX International of Contemporary Music, Bucarest, Romenia (1999); II Latin American Music Festival, Texas Christian University, USA (2000); the Bayreuth Festival of Young Music, Bayreuth, Germany (2000 and 2001); the Festival “Brazilian Sounds-Poetry & Music” in Bayreuth, Wien, Berlin and London (2002); the 12° Music Festival of Caracas, Venezuela (2002); his “Double Concerto” for 2 guitars & Orchestra was performed by the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and the Duo Assad, in 20 cities all over U.S.A., culminating with a concert at the Avery Fisher Hall, in New York on November 10,2002; in 2003 his new work “Unknown Amazonia” commissioned by the Apollon Foundation, was premiered at the Schlosstheater Neues Palais in Potsdam (24 September) following performances in Bayreuth, Würzburg, Bremen, Wien, London, München and Paris; he participated at the XXX° International Festival Cervantino and at the X° International Festival “El Callejón del Ruído”, both in Mexico (2003); his new work “Partita Latina” for violoncello & piano, commissioned by Carlos Prieto, was premiered at the 6° Mayo Festival, in Guadalajara, Mexico (May 2003); the 6° Virtuosi International Music Festival in Recife was organized in November 2003, in his homage; the Guggenheim Museum presented his “Canto a Garcia Lorca” with the New York Philharmonic, February 8/9 2003; in 2004 participated at the Iberoamerican Music Festival of Puerto-Rico, the XIX Music Festival in La Habana, the XXXI° Festival Cervantino in Mexico and the XIII° Festival in Caracas; also in 2004 he was composer-in-residence of the 35° International Music Festival of Campos do Jordão, São Paulo.
He received several commissions from the following institutions: Brazilian Dance Company, Rio de Janeiro (1968); Brazilian Broadcasting Service, Rio (1967); Goethe Institut, Munich, Germany (1972); Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, Rio (1973); Guitar Society of Toronto, Canada (1977); Radio MEC Brazil (1977); Maracaibo Music Festival, Venezuela (1977); the Indiana University, USA (1981); Corpozulia Oil Company of Venezuela for the Bicentennial of Simon Bolivar (1982); the Neuchâtel Chamber Orcehstra, Switzerland (1969); Radio Suisse Romande, Geneve (1983); Sala Cecilia Meireles, Rio (1989); XV International Festival in Bolzano, Italy (1989); Ministry of Culture in Spain for the 500° Anniversary of the Discover of America, Madrid (1992); GHA Records Belgium (1995);Brothers Maristas of Brazil (1997); Carlos Gomes Foundation, Belem, Brazil (1999); the Free University of Music of São Paulo (1999); the Apollon Foundation in Bremen, Germany (2000, 2001, 2003); the 35° International Music Festival of Campos do Jordão, São Paulo, Brazil (2004).
He was composer-in-residence at the Brahms-Haus in Baden-Baden invited by the Brahms Society, Germany (1980-1981); in Berlin, invited by DAAD, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Gewrmany (1982-1983); in New York with a Guggenheim Fellowship (1985-1986); in Campos do Jordão, São Paulo who commissioned the composer his more recent orchestral work “Kabbalah” premiered on July 23,2004 by the Festival Orchestra conducted by Roberto Minczuk (assistant-conductor of the New York Philharmonic).
He was Visiting Professor at the Universities of Indiana (1981), Yale (1992), Juilliard School of New York (1996), Arizona and Oklahoma (1997) all in U.S.A. and composer-in-residence of the International Music Festival of Campos do Jordão, São Paulo, 2004.
He was member of the international jury of several international competitions, such as: Reine-Marie-José Prize, Geneve (1978); ISCM Festival (New York, 1976 and Montreal, 1983); ANCONA Prize, Italy (1981 and 1983);International Guitar Competition, Radio France, Paris (1979 and 1980);Simon Bolivar Prize, Caracas, Venezuela (1982); Music-Film Rostrum/UNESCO,Germany (1980); Santander International Piano Competition, Spain (1987); the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition, Israel (1989); Cità di Alessandria Prize, Italy (1997/1999); the Alberto Ginastera International Competition (Buenos Aires, 1993 and Las Palmas, Spain, 2001).
He is also very active as pianist and conductor, having performed and conducted with several orchestras: Suisse Romande Orchestra, Geneve;Collegium Academicum, Switzerland; Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra at Teatro Colón; SODRE Orchestra of Montevideo, Uruguay; the National Orchestras of Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Guatemala and all Brazilian Orchestra; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London;Philharmonic of Nice,France, National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba (2004).
He was Music Director of the Radio MEC and the National Symphony Orchestra (1971 to 1976); the First Director of the National Institute of Music at FUNARTE (1976 to 1979); the President of the Brazilian Academy of Music (1985 to 1993). The President of the International Music Council of UNESCO (1986/1987).
At the present he is the President of the National Music Committee of IMC/UNESCO; the Director of Contemporary Music Programs at Radio MEC-FM of Brazil; the President of “Jeunesses Musicales” of Brazil and the President of the Musica Nova Editions of Brazil, founding member of the Collegium of Latin American Composers of Art Music in Mexico.
He was Guest Composer at the Universities of Georgia, Athens, USA (1999), the Texas Christian University, USA (1999),the Simon Bolívar University in Caracas, Venezuela (2004).
He received the following Decorations: Cultural Merit Gold Medal of Pernambuco (1978); Great Official of the Order of Merit of Brasilia (1988); Official of the Order of Rio Branco of the Itamaraty, Brazil (1989); Official of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (1994); Gold Medal of Merit of the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation of Pernambuco (1999).
He received recently the highest academic awards from the Texas Christian University the “Cecil and Ida Green Honors Professor” (2000) and from the Indiana University the “Thomas Hart Benton Medallion” (2000).
He was awarded in 2004 with the Cultural Trophy of the City of Recife, Brazil as the best composer of the year and with the Honorary Diploma of the University of the Arts of Cuba.
In 2005 he was awarded by unanimous decision of the international jury, with the 6th International Prize “Tomás Luís de Victoria” of Spain.