With sorrow, the Graduate Program in Music at UFRJ reports the death of its admired and esteemed professor Antônio José Augusto, horn player, musicologist, chamber music professor and coordinator of the Research Line History and Documentation of Brazilian and Ibero-American Music.
Doctor in Social History (UFRJ), with a Master’s degree in horn from the UFRJ School of Music and specialization at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in England, Antônio Augusto combined an intense activity as a performer with an equally prolific production as a researcher.
With an outstanding trajectory in important symphonic ensembles such as the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (OSB) and the Petrobras Symphonic Orchestra (OPES), Antônio Augusto also performed in chamber ensembles such as the Trio da Canção Brasileira and Art Metal Quinteto, playing in concerts and tours in Brazil and abroad, and acting as a producer in recordings always dedicated to Brazilian music, one of his great passions. As a producer, he also conceived projects for Banco do Brasil Cultural Center, among which Chamber Brazilian Music: the precursors (1999), Frevendo o frevo (2000), The invention of a musical Brazil: the 19th century (2010) and Eternal Modernists (2012).
As a musician and researcher, he contributed to the rescue of composers such as Anacleto de Medeiros, Henrique Alves de Mesquita and Chiquinha Gonzaga, among others, and also for the dissemination of contemporary production for the Brass Quintet. He is the author of the books The Cavalier Quest: music and society in the Empire and the Republic of Brazil (Critical Editing Music Award at FUNARTE, 2010) and Henrique Alves de Mesquita: from the most luminous pearl to the dust of oblivion (Support Funds for Music by the City of Rio de Janeiro, 2014), both published by Folha Seca publisher.
He held conferences on Brazilian society and musical practices in the 19th century at the University of Évora, at the 45th International Horn Symposium of the University of Memphis, at the “International Music Exhibition” in Tiradentes and at the “I Symposium on Interpretative Practices UFRJ-UFBA”, among others. Within the scope of the “Villa-Lobos Festival” in Rio de Janeiro, it organized and coordinated workshops and camera music contests and four editions of the “National Symposium Villa-Lobos” (2015-2018), pedagogical and scientific initiatives reflecting its multifaceted nature intellectual and artistic personality.
Parallel to his intense performance as an instrumentalist, Antonio Augusto stood out as one of the most active professors of the School of Music at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, as coordinator of the research project Ensemble Practices and Brazilian Chamber Music: history and interpretative perspectives and leader of the Research Group Brazilian Music: construction, permanence, and appropriation. As an expression of his dedication to the institution, he remained active in his role as a teacher and advisor despite the serious illness he struggled within recent years.
Professor Antônio Augusto’s passing dismayed his many students, colleagues, and friends, with whom he generously shared his knowledge and the joy of living. With these, the Graduate Program in Music at UFRJ regrets the irreparable loss of one of its most active teachers, sending its condolences to the family with gratitude.
(An update of the story will be published shortly with information on burial and honors).