The thesis investigates wide-ranging issues central to the Cuban artist, Leo Brouwer (b. 1939). Although considered by some scholars as perhaps the most significant living composer for the guitar in the twentieth century, Brouwer has not achieved the wide acclaim he deserves. This stems mainly from the North American Embargo imposed upon the Cuban nation for some forty years. Part I of the thesis explores issues concerning the artist’s homeland and life. Part II examines a selection of solo guitar works from the composer’s national stylistic period, 1956 Ã¢ 1964. Analyses are presented of the composer’s early works from 1956-57, Tres Apuntes (1959), Etudes Simples (1960-61) and Elogio de la Danza (1964). The analyses aim towards illustrating the artist’s close association with his national culture, combined with his purpose of structuring universal art forms. Attention is drawn to the artist’s employment of (1) Afro-Cuban national and traditionally tonal elements fused with more advanced compositional techniques (2) Idiomatic and pragmatic guitar techniques designed for the inexperienced player. Integrated into the thesis are discussions on some historically significant composers, performers and tutors who shaped Brouwer’s artistry. Appendix A contains all the music scores which have been discussed in detail, Appendix B is a transcription of personal interviews by the author with Leo Brouwer conducted at the 1998 Nurtingen Guitar Festival in Germany and Appendix C presents official Cuban perspectives on the Cuban Revolution and the imposed North American Embargo.