he most traditional event on the Brazilian musical scene, the Villa-Lobos Festival, from its creation in 1961, has publicized the work of Villa-Lobos and other Brazilian composers, through concerts of symphonic and chamber music, and popular music and dance shows.
The Festivals have showcased the work of renowned artists of the classical and pupolar musical worlds, such as cellists Cláudio Jaffé, Iberê Gomes Grosso, David Chew and Tânia Lisboa; guitarists César Faria, Francisco Frias, Guinga, Henrique Annes, João Pedro Borges, Laurindo de Almeida, Leandro Carvalho, Luiz Otávio Braga, Marcia Taborda, Marcos Tardelli, Maria Haro, Mauricio Carrilho, Oscar Cáceres, Paulinho da Viola and Turíbio Santos; pianists Aline van Barentzen, André Luis Rangel, Anna-Stella Schic, Arnaldo Estrella, Arthur Moreira Lima, Attilio Mastrogiovanni, Bernardo Segall, Dayse de Luca; Débora Halasz, Eduardo Monteiro, Emil Holmström, Estela Caldi, Fernanda Chaves Canaud, Flávio Augusto, Gilberto Tinetti, Heitor Alimonda, João Carlos Assis Brasil, Jacques Klein, Lais de Souza Brasil, Lais Figueiró, Lílian Barreto, Linda Bustani, Luiz Henrique Senise, Marcelo Verzoni, Maria Teresa Madeira, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Miguel Proença, Miriam Braga, Roberto Szidon, Sonia Maria Strutt, Sonia Goulart and Sonia Rubisnky; maestros Alceo Bocchino, Armando Prazeres, Eleazar de Carvalho, Ernani Aguiar, Henrique Morelenbaum, Isaac Karabtchevsky, João de Souza Lima, Mario Tavares, Roberto Duarte, Roberto Tibiriçá and Silvio Barbato; composers, instrumentalists and arrangers Egberto Gismonti, Gilson Peranzzetta and Wagner Tiso; singers Carol McDavit, Clementina de Jesus, Cristina Maristany, Elizeth Cardoso, Leila Maria, Maria Lucia Godoy, Martha Herr, Nana Caymmi and Zezé Gonzaga; flutists Altamiro Carrilho, Celso Woltzenlögel, Fernando Brandão, Luis Cuevas, Marcelo Bomfim and Odette Ernst Dias; clarinetists Fernando Silveira and José Botelho; saxophonists Mauro Senise, Paulo Moura and Paulo Sérgio Santos; bassoonist Noël Devos; violinists Antonella Pareschi, Carla Rincón, Giancarlo Pareschi, Oscar Borgerth and Paulo Bosísio; trombonist Zé da Velha; acordeon player Chiquinho do Acordeom; bass players Arthur Maia, Yuri Popoff and Paulo Russo; mandolin player Joel Nascimento; cavaquinho player Henrique Cazes; harmonica player José Staneck; persuccionists Beto Cazes and Ricardo Costa; instrumental groups Nó Em Pingo d’Água e Uakti; the Aquarius Trio; the Bessler-Reis, Brasil Quarteto, Guanabara, Radamés Gnattali and São Paulo Municipal Theater string quartets; The Britton Quintet; Maogani and Quarternaglia guitar quartets; The Quinteto Villa-Lobos; choreographer and dancer Marcia Milhazes; the Choral Singing Association; Harte Vocal and the Ars Plena Madrigal; the Rio Cello Ensemble; and the Brazilian Symphonic, Paraná Symphonic, Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater Symphonic, and National Symphonic orchestras; the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater Ballet.
In 1966 the International Villa Lobos Contests were created and became part of the Festival, (at present, they are suspended) in order to showcase new talents and mainly to serve as yet another tool to publicize the work of the composer around the world. Among the prizewinners are: maestros Laszlo Halasz and Roberto Duarte; the Audubon String Quartet, cellists Antonio Meneses and Cláudio Jaffé, pianist Luiz Henrique Senise and guitarist Paulo Porto Alegre.
The Villa-Lobos festival is held annually around November 17, anniversary of the death of the composer.