Ney Rosauro (b. 1952)
Concerto for Marimba and orchestra No.1
Ney Rosauro is a Brazilian percussionist, teacher and composer. Born in Rio de Janeiro , he learned several instruments when young, and by the time he was 18 was making a living playing guitar, mandolin and electric bass in nightclubs around Brasilia . He went on to study music more formally at University in Brasilia, adding piano, violin, bass and flute to his instrumental skills, and in his last year discovered the joy of percussion instruments. Later he won a scholarship to study percussion in Germany , where, he wryly records “ I learned all that I should have been taught in the previous ten years of my studies”. He also started composing, and the Concerto for Marimba and orchestra was written as part of gaining his Masters degree in 1986. Subsequently he has become a respected percussion teacher, both in his native Brazil and more recently in the University of Miami, Florida, where he still holds a teaching post.
As a composer he has published more than 50 pieces for percussion as well as several method books. His compositions are popular worldwide and have been recorded by artists such as Evelyn Glennie and the London Symphony Orchestra. His 1st concerto for Marimba and Orchestra (yes, there is a second) is his most popular work, having been performed over 1,000 times worldwide.
The concerto lasts about 18 minutes, and has four movements following a fast-slow-fast pattern, with a medium tempo third movement inserted before the vigorous finale. Several Brazilian motifs and jazz elements are used throughout the piece, which has strong rhythmic patterns and catchy melodies. The marimba leads the thematic material throughout much of the piece. The solo part explores the many possibilities of modern four-mallet technique, and according to reviews " the concerto is superbly written for the unique timbre and virtuoso technical qualities of the marimba ."