Francisco Mignone was born in Rio de Janeiro on September 3, 1897. Like many Latin-American musicians, Mignone went to Europe at an early age for his major musical training. He completed his formal musical education at the Milan Conservatory. Upon returning to his native Brazil in 1929, he became Professor of piano and harmony at the São Paulo Conservatory. Later, he served in this capacity at the Conservatory of the Federal District in Rio de Janeiro.
Mignone developed a strongly nationalistic style, drawing upon rich folklore and native rhythms, and blending Portugese, African, and Indian culture into his own Italo-Romantic sensibility. Later in life he experimented with the more academic trends of atonality and serialism. Active in all major classical genres, highly skilled, and endearingly eclectic, he is regarded as one of Brazil’s greatest composers, perhaps second only to Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Francisco Mignone died on February 19, 1986 in Rio de Janeiro.