Cook Music Library Digital Exhibitions

Alberto Nepomuceno (Brazil, 1864-1920)

Painting: Retrato do Maestro Alberto Nepomuceno, 1895

Painting: Retrato do Maestro Alberto Nepomuceno by Eliseu Visconti, 1895.


Composer and pianist

Considered the “Father of Brazilian Music,” Alberto Nepomuceno was a leading composer in Brazilian concert music in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He received his musical training from his father, an organist, before receiving formal musical training in Brazil and Europe. Nepomuceno became the leader of the Rio de Janeiro Conservatory in 1906 and served as composition teacher to other notable Brazilian composers, including Heitor Villa-Lobos. An ardent Brazilian nationalist, Nepomuceno utilized elements of popular and folk music as the basis for many of his compositions including O garatuja, Série Brasileira, and A jangada. He has also written over 50 art songs in Portuguese despite opposition from critics, stating, “Those who do not sing in their language have no homeland.”

Recording: Brasiliana: Three Centuries of Brazilian Music

CD Cover for

Brasiliana: Three Centuries of Brazilian Music.

By brazilian pianist, Arnaldo Cohen.


This recording of Air from Alberto Nepomuceno's Suite Amiga was performed by Arnaldo Cohen, Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and is available through Media Collections Online to authorized users. 

Alberto Nepomuceno: "Air" from Suite Amiga, Op. 11 (Media Collections Online)

Score: Improviso, op. 27 no. 2

Score for Improviso, Op. 27, No. 2 (from the Latin American Music Center Collection available at the Cook Music Library at Indiana University-Bloomington).


This selection of scores from the Latin American Music Center available at the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at Indiana University-Bloomington represents the stylistic diversity of Nepomuceno's output, as he composed in various genres and instrumentations.

Artemis (one-act opera)

Batuque: no. 4 da Série Brasileira (excerpt from string quartet)

Prelude from O Garatuja (symphony, for orchestra)

Xácara (songs for low voice and piano)


This selection of recordings encompass Nepomuceno's most well-known works, including Série Brasileira and String Quartet no. 3. These works exemplify Nepomuceno's desire to develop a quintessentially Brazilian style while composing in typical classical forms. Recordings of Nepomuceno's works are available through the Latin American Music Center Collection at the William and Gayle Cook Music Library and select databases to authorized users and on YouTube.

String Quartet No. 3: "Brazilian"

Sinfonia em Sol menor

Noturno op. 33

Série Brasileira



Additional Sound Recordings

Canções de Nepomuceno

Score: Xácara, op. 20

Score: Xácara, op. 20 (copyist's hand, from the Latin American Music Center Collection available at the Cook Music Library at Indiana University-Bloomington)

Writing: The Life and Work of Alberto Nepomuceno

Student paper covering the life and work of Alberto Nepomuceno.

Professor Orrego-Salas kept several boxes of student papers from his Latin American Music courses that are now apart of the Juan Orrego-Salas Legacy Collection


Some resources are only available to authorized users through Indiana University-Bloomington.


  • Brandão, Dolores Castorino. “A formação do acervo da Biblioteca Alberto Nepomuceno da Escola de Música da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.” Revista Brasileira de Musica 31, no. 1 (January 2018): 81–96.
  • Teixeira, Thiago Plaça. “Anjos e pastores: tópicas e intertextualidade no oratório de Alberto Nepomuceno.” Opus 25, no. 1 (January 2019): 1–39.
  • Vermes, Viviana Mônica. 2010. “Alberto Nepomuceno e o exercício profissional da música.” Música em Perspectiva: Revista do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Música 3 (1): 7–32.




Student Papers

  • Thompson, Anne. The Life and Work of Alberto Nepomuceno, Summer 1975. Student Papers Series, Juan Orrego-Salas Legacy CollectionLAMC 2011 Orrego-Salas, Latin American Music Center, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States.

For additional works on Alberto Nepomuceno available at IU Bloomington Libraries, click here.