The importance of Roberto Corrêa to Brazilian folk music derives not only from his virtuosity at the ten-string viola (unlike the bowed homonymous instrument, this one has usually five doubled/octaved strings that must be handpicked or plucked), but also from his important role as a researcher and promoter of the genre, of the caipira (hillbilly) culture, and of the instrument. Living in Brasília (Distrito Federal) since 1975, he abandoned his career as a physicist and graduated in Music at the state university of Brasília. Immediately he began to teach the instrument at the university, which was something new, given the prejudice that usually surrounds the viola in academic environments. In 1983, he gave his first concert in Brasília. That same year, he published his first book, Viola Caipira. Relaying his research on the caipira folklore, it was also the first book on viola to be published in Brazil. Also a player of the viola de cocho (a very rudimentary folkloric instrument from the region of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul states), he would write a book on this instrument in 1988. His first individual album came in 1989, Viola Andarilha. Since then he has been recording other noted albums, some of them shared with important stylists of folk music, like the violeiro Renato Andrade. Caipira de Fato (1997), with the participation of Inesita Barroso, was awarded with a Sharp Prize as the Best Regional Album. Corrêa has been playing recitals and teaching in workshops throughout Brazil and also in countries like Japan, China, Germany, having being invited to officially represent Brazil in Italy, Portugal, Mexico, and Central and South America.
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