Biografy – Gilmar Goulart


Gilmar Goulart
Gilmar Goulart (photo by Patrício Orozco-Contreras)

Gilmar Goulart was born in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil. He began the pursuit of his Music Education degree at the Federal University of Santa Maria with the desire to study guitar.

After experiencing many percussion classes, it soon became clear that a decision had to be made: to continue with both
instruments and be just an average player of both, or to dedicate himself to only one, and fly as high as possible. Gilmar chose percussion and flourished.

As a percussion student, he studied with Rose Braunstein and Ney Rosauro. With Braunstein he learned how to love percussion, music-making, and the responsibilities of ensemble performance. With Rosauro he learned musicianship and professionalism. Gilmar took Rosauro’s advice, pursued his degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, in Manchester, England, and for the next two years he played marimba, while polishing his English.

Gilmar applied for the Professional Performance Diploma, the most prestigious degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, and became the first marimbist to earn it with Distinction.

After his return from Manchester, Gilmar obtained a teaching position in his former hometown university, a position that he still holds. Working closely with his former mentor, Ney Rosauro, Gilmar helped with the growth of the degree program, and of the Percussion Ensemble. He took part in the organization of the Latin American Meetings of Percussion, in 1994 and 1996.

Goulart began to study the visual aspects of performance, working with teachers and students of the Theatre course. He composed and performed many live soundtracks for sketches and plays, and also encouraged his percussion students to do the same.

Modern dance also fascinates him, being an admirer of the Russian Ballets of Sergei Diaghilev, the music of Igor Stravinsky, and the life and work of Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina. Gilmar worked with a choreographer and a dance company, developing live performances which included marimba and dance.

In 1995 he brought together friends from theatre and dance, to create scenes and dances for stories told by original marimba music. Thus “Marimba, Theatre, and Dance” was born. The project included choreographer Gisela Biancalana, dancers Samara Cabral, Sheila Cabral, and Geórgia Benetti, with actors/creators Cléber Laguna, Márcia Silva, and Simone Bencke. This beautiful collaboration used music by Keiko Abe, Jacob Druckman, François Dupin and Dean Gronemeier.

From the inspiration of a former student, Gilmar recorded his first CD– The World of Marimba –the first CD of its kind in Brazil — with eight original pieces for marimba solo. The album title refers to the idea of an instrument that is loved around the world, and that many beautiful pieces come together from different corners of the world.

In 1998 Gilmar traveled to Boulder, Colorado, to pursue his DMA degree and to study with Dr. Douglas Walter. Upon finishing his DMA, Gilmar returned to Brazil to the university in Santa Maria, taking charge of the Percussion Studio, after Ney Rosauro’s move to Miami University.

In 2006, he recorded his second CD, The Moods of Marimba, with five commissioned works and some world premiere recordings by leading composers. In this same year, he performed Ney Rosauro’s “Concerto No. 2 for Marimba and Orchestra”, with the Orquestra Petrobrás Sinfônica, in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2008, Gilmar presented the Brazilian premiere of Eric Ewazen’s “Concerto for Marimba and Strings”, with the Orquestra de Câmara do Theatro São Pedro, in Porto Alegre.

His most recent work is a co-effort with actress and ballerina Joelma Rannov do Carmo. In their first year, they performed in Tatuí-SP (Fifth International Meeting of Percussion), and at the State University of São Paulo.

Upon invitation, Gilmar recently toured the USA, visiting universities in five states, providing standing ovation performances and Masterclasses.