Recipient of the 2023-2023 Faculty Doctoral Mentoring Award
Silvio J. dos Santos (Ph.D. Brandeis University) specializes in European and Latin American music from the nineteenth century to the present, focusing on issues related to music and cultural identity, intersections between music and politics, and notions of nationalism and indigeneity in Latin American music. He is the recipient the 2002 Paul A. Pisk Award from the American Musicological Society, as well as several research grants.
Dr. dos Santos has presented papers at national and international conferences, including the Società Italiana di Musicologia, Gesellschaft für Musikforschung, as well as local and national meetings of the American Musicological Society. He has published articles and reviews in the Journal of Musicology, Notes, and the second edition of the American Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. His book Narratives of Identities in Alban Berg's ‘Lulu’ (University of Rochester Press, 2014) explores the crossroads between autobiographical narratives and musical composition in Berg's Lulu, unveiling aspects of encoded social customs, gender identity, and personal experiences within musical structures. His forthcoming chapter in the Cambridge Companion to Serialism, ed. Martin Iddon (2023) explores the eclectic nature of Berg's twelve-tone serialism.
His current project examines the music of the late Heitor Villa-Lobos and his attempt at depicting musically the historical moments of contact between the colonialist forces and the indigenous peoples in the Americas. This project explores, for the first time in the literature, the significance of Villa-Lobos’s large-scale works in the construction of a nationalist narrative justifying what he considered to be the formation of a “raça brasileira” (Brazilian race). Through a broad, cross-disciplinary perspective, including post-colonial theory and extensive archival work, this book will re-evaluate this highly significant aspect in Villa-Lobos’s musical developments and aesthetic in some of his most monumental works, from the soundtrack to the film O Descobrimento do Brasil (1940-52) and his Symphony No. 10 (1952-54) to his stint in Hollywood with the soundtrack for the film Green Mansions (1959), featuring Audrey Hepburn and Anthony Perkins, and the resulting Floresta do Amazonas (1958), his last complete large-scale work.
An active classical guitarist, he is a member of the Alachua Guitar Quartet and Jacaré Brazil, a multi-instrumental ensemble at the University of Florida.