updated 19 August 2008
© Margarida Castro Neves

Pedro Amaral

Portuguese composer born in 1972.

Pedro Amaral was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1972, and is one of the most active European composers of his generation.

He began studying composition in 1986 with Fernando Lopes-Graça, at the same time pursuing musical studies at the Gregorian Institute of Paris. He entered the Escola Superior de Musica de Lisboa in 1991, studying composition with Christopher Bochmann and graduating in 1994.

He then moved to Paris, where he studied with Emmanuel Nunes at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP), where he graduated with highest honors (premier prix) in composition, awarded by a unanimous vote of the jury. In 2000, he studied conducting with Peter Eötvös (Institut Eötvös in Budapest) and, in 2001, with Emilio Pomarico (Municipal School of Music Claudio Abbado - Milano Foundation).

In parallel to his studies as a composer, Pedro Amaral pursued a university degree from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, receiving a masters degree in twentieth century musicology with a thesis on Karlheinz Stockhausen‘s Gruppen in 1998 and a doctorate in 2003, with a dissertation on Momente and the problem of form in serial music. Shortly thereafter, Karlheinz Stockhausen invited Amaral to work as his assistant for certain projects.

During his first stay at the IRCAM in Paris in 1998/1999, he composed Transmutations (which was selected to represent Portugal at the UNESCO International Composers Tribune and broadcast by radio stations around the world, and performed at the World Music Days in Japan in 2001). The city of Porto, which was a European Capital for Culture in 2001, commissioned Organa. In 2003/2004, he did a research residency at the IRCAM, where he wrote Script.

He has received commissions from the Gulbenkian Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Radio WDR, Germany), the Macao International Music Festival, the Musica Viva Festival, the GRAME (Lyon), the City of Porto (European Capital of Culture 2001), the city of Matosinhos (Portugal), and the Casa da Música. His work has been performed at major festivals by soloists including Christophe Desjardins, Pascal Gallois, Pedro Carneiro, Andrea Corazziari, Anne-Lise Gastaldi, Jean-Marie Cottet, Jay Gottlieb, conducted by Amaral himself and by Peter Eötvös, Mark Foster, Muhai Tang, Lucas Pfaff, Renato Rivolta, Johannes Kalitzke, Franck Ollu, Etienne Siebens, and Michael Zilm.

He works regularly as a composer and a conductor with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble InterContemporain, London Sinfonietta, Prometheus Ensemble (Brussels), Futures Musiques (Paris), Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ensemble Alternance (Paris), Ensemble Recherche (Freiburg), musikFabrik (Cologne), Remix Ensemble (Porto), and many more.

Amaral has been a composer-in-residence at the Herrenhaus Edenkoben, Germany, Villa Medici, in Rome, and at the Lenzi Palace in Florence, Italy. He also works as a musicologist, writing articles and teaching workshops, seminars, and masterclasses.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2008


Site de Pedro Amaral (voir ressources documentaires).


Liens Internet

  • Site de Pedro Amaral : www.pedro-amaral.eu
  • Miso Music Portugal, Centro De Informação Da Música Portuguesa, Compositores, Listar : www.mic.pt

(liens vérifiés en août 2008).