- Gerard Béhague
(b Aarau, April 25, 1927; d Aarau, Jan 3, 1990). Brazilian composer and teacher of Swiss birth. He studied with Burkhard, Frey and Hoerler at the Zurich Conservatory, graduating in composition, piano and music education in 1950. After working as a private teacher and choral conductor in Switzerland he went to Salvador, Bahia, in 1956 on the invitation of Koellreutter, director of the Seminários Livres de Música. There he taught the piano, composition, orchestration and music literature, also conducting the Bahia University Madrigal Group (1958–67). On Koellruetter’s departure from Bahia in 1963, Widmer was appointed chief composition professor at the Federal University of Bahia, and took up the directorship of the Seminários (1963–5, 1967–9, 1976–80), later renamed the Escola de Música e Artes Cênicas then the Escola de Música. He had a pivotal role in making the city of Salvador one of the most important centres of new music activity from the 1960s to the 80s. As a teacher he exerted a profound influence on his students, many of whom became successful composers, and he espoused the rejection of all principles in order to cultivate independent development in the Grupo de Compositores da Bahia, which he founded in ...