Widmer, Ernst (1927--1990) By Costa Lima, Paulo
Ernst Widmer considered himself a Brazilian citizen, a Brazilian composer who was born and educated in Switzerland but who bloomed in the tropics. Actually, the theme of the cultural crossing was of great importance for the elaboration of his way of thinking and of composing. He dedicated almost all his entire life to the School of Music of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), where he taught between 1956 and 1987. During that period, he had a decisive role in turning Salvador into one of the most important centers of contemporary music in Brazil. In particular, he was in charge of the formation of composers, making this activity the basis for his intense artistic performance, which resulted in the composition of about two hundred opuses and thirty-one awards. He exerted great influence on his students and several of them became well known composers, and he also gave extreme value to singularity as a pedagogical parameter, having inspired the creation of the Group of Composers from Bahia in 1966, whose manifest of just one line rejected as a principle any declared principles. After his retirement in 1987, he renewed his ties with his native city in Switzerland, debuting several of his pieces and participating in the creation of the Ernst Widmer Gesellschaft dedicated to promoting his music.