Burle Marx (1902-1990) was a Brazilian composer and began his career as a pianist, studying with Enrique Oswald in Rio de Janeiro, Tobias Mattay in London and James Kwast in Berlin. 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. Among the most notable orchestras that he guest conducted were the Berliner Philharmoniker, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. He served as music director of the Brazilian Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City where he conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in several premieres of works by now-notable Brazilian composers such as Heitor Villa-Lobos and Camargo Guarnieri. 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.