Vytas Brenner

Vytas Brenner (born 19 September 1946, Tübingen, Germany – died 18 March 2004, Salzburg, Austria) was a Venezuelan guitar and keyboard player.

His family migrated to Venezuela in 1949. His mother, Margarita Brenner, was an opera singer. In 1959, his family went to Italy and later to Spain where he founded a folk band: "Vytas Brenner Quartet", with his brother Haakon Brenner (bass), [a265023] (drums) and [a468963] (rhythm guitar). Later [a798484] joined them and they re-named as "Brenner's Folk". They released and EP but soon after the Brenner brothers returned to Venezuela, where Vytas started a solo career. At 21 years old, Vytas moved to Tennessee, USA to study at the University of Tennessee's Music Conservatory, where he was a pupil of David Van Vactor. Later, at college in Nashville, Vytas took post-graduate courses in Electronic music with Professor Gilbert Trythall, and graduated with honors in 1972. In 1971 he started a duo named "Vitas & Mafe" with Venezuelan singer María Fernanda Márquez. In 1972 Brenner formed his own band, "La Ofrenda" (The Offering) and recorded 5 very successful LP's until 1979. With "Ofrenda" he started his pioneer work with compositions for combinations of electric and electronic instruments (synthesizers) with acoustic instruments and piano; and blending Progressive-Symphonic Rock, Latin rhythms, and Venezuelan traditional themes, with astounding results. In 1982 a somewhat reunited "Ofrenda" performed at the "Teatro de Bellas Artes de Maracaibo", but was coldly received by the public. In 1989 the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra performed his work "Oro Negro" ("Black Gold") at the Caracas' famed Teatro Teresa Carreño. In 1989 he released the CD album entitled "Amazonia". He was commissioned to compose works for "Viajando con Polar", a series of short documentaries about Venezuela's regions. He created music for various films, such as "Adiós Alicia", "Se llamaba SN", and Román Chalbaud's "Carmen la que contaba 16 años". All the while, Brenner was a very successful studio musician, composing and performing in countless radio jingles, TV commercials and presidential campaigns.

Brenner died 18 March 2004 of a heart attack in Salzburg, Austria at the age of 57, while recording music for an upcoming CD.