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Gilberto Gagliardi

On July 15, 2001, the music world lost one of its most significant Brass Legends and teachers of 20th century Brazil. Meanwhile, the rest of the world was generally unaware of Professor Gilberto Gagliardiís existence, much less his profound contribution. Yet in his homeland, the mere reference of íProfessorí was enough for any brass player to know that the subject was Professor Gagliardi. He was often referred to as the Emory Remington of Brazil.

Gilberto Gagliardi was born to Italian parents in Sao Paolo, Brazil on December 5, 1922, and spent his early years in Rio de Janeiro. His father was a trombonist, and he had three brothers, Fausto, Raul and Roberto, who were also trombone players. Gilberto, the only son to build a music career for himself, worked in a variety of musical styles in both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo all his life.

His career began at age 18, playing at the Urca Casino in Rio de Janeiro. In 1946 he took part in the first Brazilian orchestra, Os Copacabanas, and in 1965, entered the symphonic world, becoming the principal trombonist in the Municipal Symphony Orchestra. He performed with personalities such as Heitor Villa-Lobos, Camargo Guarnieri and Eleazar de Carvalho.

His honesty, integrity and organizational skills earned him the position of vice president and treasurer of the Brazilian Musicianís Union, one of the largest in the world.

Gagliardiís granddaughter Katrina described him as a very fair person. It didnít matter if you were a man or a woman if youíre wrong, youíre wrong. And if youíre right, youíre right. He was the most generous and honest man I have ever met. Once, after he hit a parked car, he left a note that said, I'm sorry I hit your car, but I'm going to pay for it.í And he did! He was always very serious, but would somehow find a way to joke as well.

Regardless of whether a student preferred classical music or Brazilian popular music, he insisted that one must first develop a good sound, and because Gagliardi was a successful performer in both fields, he was able to guide a broad spectrum of Brazilian Brass Legends. He also insisted that classical players should study popular music.

Gagliardi continually composed music - solos, etudes and ensemble pieces - for studentsí lessons, filling the musical void of brass music and study materials in his country. There are estimates of more than 1000 compositions by Professor Gagliardi, now scattered all across South America. He once told a student, Iíll never know where all my music is. How did Professor Gagliardi become such a legend? The late Radegundis Feitosa Nunes offered several ideas to this question.

"Gagliardi was one of the most active trombonists of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo in both the classical and popular music fields for more than six decades. During this time players tended to withhold their "trade secrets" of how to play, leaving a void in the teaching field. Gagliardi, because of his generosity, enthusiasm and outstanding performance abilities, was eager to share his experience and help others. By stepping into this educational void, he was quickly recognized as the premiere teacher, eventually receiving the respected title of "Professor. " He was also known for recognizing musical talent in young Brass Legends, not only teaching them, but also loaning them money to attend music festivals throughout the country. "

Brazilian musicians speak of their beloved Professor with the reverence and pride of a national shrine. Gilberto Gagliardi is gone but surely not forgotten, as he almost single-handedly molded Brazilian brass playing for the 21st century and beyond.

International Trombone Association

Honorary Life Members
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PO Box 146
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© Copyright 2014 WindSong Press Limited. All rights reserved. Revised: May 14, 2015