SÃ©rgio Ricardo is a fundamental figure in Brazilian history, not only musical. As a musician, composer, movie maker and writer he deeply influenced Brazilian culture. At eight, he started his piano studies at the local conservatory, soon beginning to play around. At 17, he moved to SÃ£o Vicente, SP, where he did several jobs at RÃ¡dio Cultura. Following a short stint as a pianist at the Recreinho Prainha nightclub in the same city, in 1952, he moved to Rio to work at RÃ¡dio Vera Cruz. When Tom Jobim left his gig at a Posto 5 Copacabana nightclub to work as an arranger for Continental, Ricardo subbed for him and he became friends with Jobim, JoÃ£o Gilberto, and Johnny Alf. As a pianist during a time where there was a frenetic need for that professional, he worked everyday in the best nightclubs of Rio, SÃ£o Paulo, and Santos. He left his regular studies and made great efforts to enroll at the Escola Nacional de MÃºsica for two years and two more years of harmony and counterpoint with a private teacher; both courses were abandoned incomplete. Having composed a good deal of songs, he also became a singer. Still, as JoÃ£o Lutfi, he became one of the most-requested crooners of that time. In 1957, he recorded his first 78 rpm through RGE, soon followed by another. It was when Maysa heard one of his own compositions and went after him, recording "BuquÃª de Isabel" on one of her first albums. Accompanying a singer on a TV Tupi show, he was invited to join the station as a soap opera actor, already known as SÃ©rgio Ricardo. He continued to work both in music at the Grande Teatro Tupi, Rio and on TV on the shows TV de Vanguarda, SÃ£o Paulo, and Balada, TV Continental, Rio. Part of the bossa nova since its inception in 1958, Ricardo was one of the first to have an LP recorded in the new style with A Bossa RomÃ¢ntica de SÃ©rgio Ricardo (Odeon). Soon after, his deep social concerns led him to write "ZelÃ£o," which is a milestone in his departure from the movement. It was when he made his first short subject, O Menino da CalÃ§a Branca (1961), that put him inside the movement known as "cinema novo," politic/esthetic manifesto that took over the world. For that movie, he received the PrÃªmio Governador do Estado da Guanabara, 1963, and the PrÃªmio Berimbau de Prata (I Festival de Cinema da Bahia), 1962. In the next year, he was invited by the Brazilian diplomatic service, Itamarati, to represent Brazil in the U.S. at the San Francisco Cinema Festival, and the movie was classified in second place. On November 21, 1962, he performed at the historic Bossa Nova Festival at Carnegie Hall. He stayed for eight months in New York, finding a producer for O Menino de CalÃ§a Branca and playing for a living in nightclubs such as the Village Vanguard. He left New York for the French RiviÃ¨re, to where he had been invited for a season as a singer/composer. In 1963, he composed, over GlÃ¡uber Rocha's lyrics, the soundtrack for Rocha's Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol, one of the most important Brazilian films of all time. The soundtrack was released on LP that same year, together with Ricardo's own Um Senhor Talento (Elenco). In 1964, he was invited again by Itamarati to represent Brazil at the festivals of Lebanon and Genova with his movie Esse Mundo Ã© Meu, which was exhibited in those countries and was considered by the specialized French magazine Cahiers du Cinema (June/July 1964) as one of the most important films of that year, also receiving the Best Movie award at the Festival de MarÃlia, SÃ£o Paulo, 1965. During the former, he was invited by the Lebanese government to direct the movie Taire in Caire. In May, he returned to SÃ£o Paulo and opened his solo show, Esse Mundo Ã© Meu, which launched singer/composer Toquinho. Ricardo also wrote the orchestration for the soundtrack to GlÃ¡uber Rocha's Terra em Transe, another fundamental piece in the director's film career, as well as the music for the play O Coronel de Macambira, by Joaquim Cardoso, later released on the Philips LP A Grande MÃºsica de SÃ©rgio Ricardo. At the Festival Fluminense, he won second place with "Romana." At TV Record's II FMPB in 1966, he protagonized the celebrated incident when, at the finals, he broke his violÃ£o and threw it toward the audience, having his song eliminated. The fact is that the beautiful melody was of difficult assimilation and it made the public prefer "A Banda" (Chico Buarque) and other easier songs. His desperate yelling "VocÃªs nÃ£o estÃ£o entendendo nada..." ("you are understanding squat") makes one imagine that he was trying to reason with the audience in terms that what was important were the lyrics, in which was expressed a subtle awareness message: Beto Bom de Bola was a fictitious soccer player who won the bi-championship for Brazil in a tough game, but soon became forgotten, lonely, and broke. The lyrics end with "O mal tambÃ©m tem cura" ("the evil also has a cure"), which completes a clear picture of criticism directed against the military dictatorship. Other festivals in which he participated include Bienal do Samba (with "Luandaluar"), Festival da TV Excelsior de SÃ£o Paulo ("Girassol"), Festival Internacional da CanÃ§Ã£o ("Canto do Amor Armado," in which he was one of ten finalists), and the IV FMPB, having "Dia da GraÃ§a" winning fifth place. In January 1968, he opened another show in Rio with Chico de Assis, SÃ©rgio Ricardo e a PraÃ§a do Povo. From 1968 to 1970, he worked on his Juliana do amor perdido and wrote the soundtrack to the movie O Auto da Compadecida (1969), based on the fundamental play by Ariano Suassuna. Believing in a full participation of the public in the artistic production, he abandoned the theaters and began to tour upcountry Brazil extensively, in pocket acts where he could be close to audiences. He then recorded the LP ArrebentaÃ§Ã£o for the small label Equipe, which was released in 1971 and was followed by a second edition in 1972. The small label bellied up soon afterwards and the LP remained widely unknown, disputed by connoisseurs at high prices. His album from 1973, SÃ©rgio Ricardo (Continental), brought the famous cover by Caulos, with a border over his mouth. One of its songs, "Canto Americano," had had its lyrics awarded first place at the Athens Festival in Greece, 1968. In 1974, he finished his work for his movie A Noite do Espantalho, where he did almost everything. The movie was awarded by the Instituto Nacional do Cinema, won the Coruja de Ouro prize for his brother's photography, and for Ricardo's soundtrack. It was also awarded as Best Film, Best Photography, Best Direction, and Best Male Character at the I Festival de Cinema Brasileiro de BelÃ©m (1974) and was acknowledged as one of the 15 best films of the year by the Cinema Academy of Hollywood and was awarded at the Cannes and New York festivals (the award is the very appointment for exhibition). He took advantage of the visibility proportioned by the success and embarked on a tour where he sang the songs (the soundtrack was also released on LP), presented the film, and debated with the audience. In 1975, he co-founded SOMBRÃ�S, a society created to represent the interest of musicians in dealing with artistic rights collecting agencies. In 1976, he was invited by AluÃsio de Oliveira to record on the RCA series MÃºsica Popular Brasileira Espetacular. With AluÃsio's production, he also recorded ParticipaÃ§Ã£o. Soon, he toured the country's university circuit with the show Ponto de Partida. In 1977, he recorded for Marcus Pereira. In 1980, he performed at the Festival de Varadero, Cuba, and recorded an LP with Geraldo VandrÃ©. In 1983, his music and arrangements for Carlos Drummond de Andrade's EstÃ³ria de JoÃ£o-Joana were recorded by the Orquestra SinfÃ´nica do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. In 1991, he released his book Quem Quebrou meu ViolÃ£o (Record, Rio de Janeiro), and SÃ£o Paulo's Image and Sound Museum organized a week devoted to him that year. In 1994, he recorded a live album in Lisbon, Portugal. His soundtrack for the movie O Lado Certo da Vida Errada won the PrÃªmio Candango at the Festival de BrasÃlia (DF). He also composed the soundtrack for the TV series Zumbi dos Palmares, and in 1997, for the soap opera Mandacaru. ~ Alvaro NederPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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