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Walter Burle Marx (1902-1990) was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He began his career as a pianist, studying with Enrique Oswald in Rio de Janeiro, Tobias Mattay in London and James Kwast in Berlin. Although he concertized widely throughout Brazil and Europe in the 1920’s, he also studied composition with Emil von Resnicek and conducting with Felix Weingartner during this period. In 1931 he founded the Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic and conducted numerous premieres with this orchestra, among them, the first South American performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Soloists with the orchestra included Arthur Rubinstein, Mieczislav Horszowski and Margaret Long. He was also the first to organize youth concerts in Brazil. In 1947 Burle Marx was appointed Artistic Director of the Rio de Janeiro Opera. In 1949 he left Brazil in order to become a permanent U.S. resident and devote himself entirely to composition. From 1952 until his retirement in 1977, he taught piano, theory and composition at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. He continued to compose until his death in December of 1990. Among Burle Marx’s richly varied works are 4 symphonies, several pieces for solo guitar, 2 concertinos for piano and orchestra, a cello concerto, 2 string quartets, a quartet for ancient instruments, a quintet for flute and strings and a song cycle entitled The Great Occasions, featuring songs for American holidays as well as others celebrated around the world. His Halloween song provided the inspiration for a musical play with orchestra, chorus and soloists written for UNICEF entitled The Witchkids.