Joevan de Mattos Caitano

Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Saxony, Germany;


The Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, founded in 1946 by the musicologist and journalist Wolfgang Steinecke (1910-1961), attracted participants from all over the world, including Brazil. Despite this productive interaction with other continents, the South Americans’ participation was overlooked for many years in the major publications that concentrated on the relationship between Darmstadt and Central Europe. The Brazilian delegates who attended Darmstadt from 1949 to 1996 are remembered in the IMD Archiv, which is housed in the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt. Their legacy has already been investigated and is scheduled to be published in 2023. Some Brazilians have participated and contributed with their pieces in concerts to the Darmstadt summer courses in the twenty-first century, including Mauricio De Bonnis (Ferienkurse 2000), Pedro Bittencourt (2004), Filipe Ribeiro (2008), Bruno Ruviaro (2008, 2010), Felipe Lara, Daniel Moreira, Daniel Puig (2010), Arthur Kampela (2012), Valéria Bonafé, André De Cillo, Eric Moreira, Gustavo Oliveira Alfaix (2014), Marcela Lucatelli, Marcos Balter, and Ricardo Eizirik (2016). With Solf Schäfer’s leadership, Darmstadt was able to host new music performances outside of traditional places between 1996 and 2008. Saxophonist Pedro Bittencourt, who has led the Abstrai Ensemble in Rio de Janeiro and been a superb promoter of avant-garde music, was given scholarships by the IMD director. The Open Space, created by director Thomas Schäfer in 2010, has been a key element of the summer course program, serving as a sort of “marginal festival” where Brazilians and participants from other nations can interact, transfer knowledge, as well as share ideas and create performances. According to the overview of New Music in Darmstadt, Brazilian compositions were performed at concerts there between 2000 and 2018. During the Darmstädter Ferienkurse 2008, Felipe Lara was the winner of the Staubach prize, when his work “Tran(slate). Second string quartet” was performed. This article aims to convey a variety of points of view regarding Darmstadt from the testimony of Brazilian composers, instrumentalists, and musicologists of the new generation based on materials acquired in the IMD Archiv, interviews with the stated persons, and specialized literature. The content aims to respond to the following major inquiries: What effect did Darmstadt have on each Brazilian’s career? What connections can be drawn between Brazilian Contemporary Music and the Darmstädter Ferienkurse? What distinctions exist in the Brazilian participants in Darmstadt’s compositional works? In Darmstadt, what activities did these Brazilians develop? What initiatives did these Brazilians start to promote contemporary music in Brazil and abroad? The discussion of these issues will broaden the historical repository of the Darmstäder Ferienkurse Kursen für Neue Musik, providing new avenues for research concerning other Latin Americans who attended Darmstadt in the first two decades of the twenty-first century, prior to the pandemic.

Keywords: Darmstadt; Neue Musik; IMD Archiv; Brazilian composers; Brazilian Contemporary Music.


Joevan de Mattos Caitano serves as Kantor in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Saxony, district of Löbau-Zittau. He has been promoting Brazilian jazz performances in church concerts in Saxony as a pianist, organist, composer, and arranger. He is an independent musicologist who previously received a DAAD scholarship to pursue his doctorate at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Jörn Peter Hiekel. He is currently conducting research on Darmstädter Ferienkursen für Neue Musik from a global perspective with the assistance of the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt. Additionally, he has been conducting a study on how Johann Sebastian Bach was received in Brazil. Important Journals such as Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, Zeitschrift für die Musikforschung, Zeitschrift für Australienstudien / Australian Studies Journal, New Sound International Journal of Music, ICTUS the Journal of Music, Revista MusiMid, Journal Music Academy, and Glissando Magazine have published his articles. Since 2014, he has spoken at conferences and symposiums in Berlin, Prague, London, Ljubljana, Tartu, Lisbon, Sydney, Spain, and Brazil. He also participated passively in the Festival two days and two nights in Odessa in April 2017 and the Quinquennial Meeting of the International Musicological Society in Athens in August 2022. He is also a member of the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung (GfM) – Music Research Society in Germany.