Marcelo Zarvos

Changes – Sextet for piano and winds 

I. Prelùdio II. Meditaçȃo III. Quase Choro

Changes was commissioned by Quintet of the Americas with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Written in 2003, it was premiered by Quintet of the Americas with Marcelo Zarvos on piano at St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea, New York City, on March 23, 2004.

It is recorded on the Quintet’s recording Sounds of Brazil on the MSR label: MSR1279

The idea for Changes came out of conversations with Quintet of the Americas’ artistic director, Barbara Oldham, after she heard me perform with my ensemble in New York City. At the time, most of my writing was done for mixed groups of classical and jazz musicians. The title is a word-play on the term “changes,” which, in the jazz world, stands for harmonic progressions written out with chord symbols, as well as referring to the changes that were happening in my own development as a composer, gradually leading me to create fully written-out works which would not necessarily require me to be involved as a performer. The piece is divided into three movements (Prelude, Meditation, Quase Chôro) each one inspired by one of my favorite Brazilian composers: Heitor Villa-Lobos, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Ernesto Nazareth. The material draws heavily from Brazilian folk music, particularly the chôro and maracatu styles, as well as minimalism and jazz. Changes is dedicated to the members of Quintet of the Americas, with a special thanks to Barbara Oldham, who has championed and supported my music for so many years.

–Note by Marcelo Zarvos

Marcelo Zarvos stakes out his own musical territory at the crossroads of world music, classical, and jazz. Zarvos’s passion for his native Brazilian folklore and his natural gifts as an improviser find their expression in elegantly crafted compositions, a highly personal genre he sometimes calls “world chamber music.”  He writes music for film, television, dance, theater, and the concert stage. Among his recent film scores are The Good Shepherd, Hollywoodland, Strangers with Candy, The Door in the Floor, Kissing Jessica Stein, Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened? and Cary Fukunaga’s Sin Nombreas, Wonder, and many more, as well as additional music for the Academy Award winning score for Brokeback Mountain. As a recording artist, Zarvos released three critically acclaimed albums for MA Recordings: Dualism, Music Journal, and Labyrinths, which mixed various world music styles with modern classical and jazz instruments. His film scores are available on the Decca, Milan, and Varese Sarabande labels. Other works include dance scores for Pilobolus, DanceBrazil, Cleo Parker Robinson, ODC Dance, and chamber music compositions for Ethel and Quintet of the Americas.

For more information visit his website: