Main concerts 2007

TIME 2007 (Tribune Internationale de Musique Electroacoustique) CIME/UNESCO
International Radio Broadcasting: RDP2/UER
Lisbon [December 17]: Institut Franco Portugais
(Sond'Art-te Electric Ensemble)

To a World Free From Beliefs (Pedro M. Rocha)
Duetto I (Carlos Caires)
Timshel [NEW commission: Miso Music/Sond'Ar-te] (João P Oliveira)
Anamorfoses III (Isabel Soveral)
Derrière Son Double (Miguel Azguime)

Abstract Vienna (Austria), Wien Modern (Remix Ensemble soloist: J.F.Silva)



String Quartet Edenkoben, Germany (Pellegrini Quartett)


Fragment of Amaral's chamber opera on Fernando Pessoa: O Sonho [NEW commission: Gulbenkian Foudation] Lisbon: Culturgest (sopranos: Sandra Medeiros, Ângela Alves, Sara Braga Simões, Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, conductor: Pedro Amaral);

Os Jogadores de Xadrez (Coro Voces Caelestes, Jean-François Lézé [vibraphone], Ana Telles [piano], Stéphanie Manzo [harp], Abel Cardoso [marimba, timpani], conductor: Pedro Amaral);


Le Marteau sans Maitre (Pierre Boulez)
Alto: Angelica Cathariou
Grupo de Musica Contemporanea de Lisboa;


September: ScriptAPorto [September 20]: Musica Viva Festival, Casa da Música (P.Carneiro); Lisbon: Institut Franco Portugais [October 13];

Musica Viva Festival
Lisbon [September 11]: Institut Franco Portugais
Porto [September 18]: Casa da Música
(Sond'Art-te Electric Ensemble)

Prólogos (Filipe Pires)
To a world free from beliefs (Pedro M. Rocha)
Voi(rex) (Philippe Leroux)
Resonant Solitude (Masataka Matsuo)
Gestos-Circus-Círculos (Cândido Lima)


Performance of A-Synthesiser part from Peter Eötvös's

Luzern, Switzerland
(Central Swiss Youth Philharmonic, conductor: P. Eötvös)



The Event:
- “Atelier” [August 29, KKL, Lucerne Hall, 20h]– Pedro Amaral, along with his masterclass fellows, conducted Stockhausen’s “Gruppen” in a live broadcasting in cooperation with the Swiss Radio DRS 2

The Context:
- the masterclass in conducting of the Lucerne Festival Academy

The Idea:
- six young conductors (Pedro Amaral, Miguel Real, Pablo Heras-Casado, Hsiao-Lin Liao, Kevin Edusei, Yordan Kamdzhalov) chosen by Peter Eötvös and Pierre Boulez to prepare the Academy Orchestra for a performance of Stockhausen's "Gruppen für drei Orchester"


  Abstract Norrköping (Sweden), Nordic Music Days Festival (Remix Ensemble soloist: J.F.Silva)


Main concerts 2007 (January-July)


Pedro Amaral will conduct the London Sinfonietta in two of his sparkling works (Spirales and Paraphrase), plus Boulez’s luscious miniature for six instruments (Derive I) and Berio’s rarely performed Chemins IV for eleven strings and oboe (Melinda Maxwell)



« What a surprise this concert was! (...) Pedro Amaral may not be well known in this country, but he’s well respected elsewhere in Europe.

The concert began with Amaral’s Spirales, for chamber orchestra. It may last only ten minutes, but it’s densely scored and detailed. There’s a strong sense of movement, as if the music were a living organism, curling and twisting in a kind of ritual dance. It turns on pivots, often announced by percussion. Whatever the theory behind it, it’s lively and interesting on its own terms.

A musicologist as well as musician, Amaral’s grounding in musical analysis is firm. Stockhausen admired his doctoral thesis (...). He conducts a lot of Stockhausen, but for this concert chose to conduct two pieces by Boulez and Berio, who have been his major influences. First, Amaral led six of the Sinfonietta players in Boulez’s Dérive 1. Although Spirales sounds nothing like Dérive 1, hearing them together showed how both follow an inner structural logic. As a conductor, Amaral is clear and incisive, perhaps a result of his feel for musical shape and form. He really seems to have a keen perception of “how” music works. After the concert, I crept up to look at his score, and noticed how clearly he had marked it. That sort of vision is the basis of interpretation: there’s nothing sloppy or accidental about good conducting.

Melinda Maxwell substituted at very short notice as oboist in Berio’s Chemins IV. Hearing it live was good, because it revealed a very strong feeling of “sound in space”, the music shaped by the dynamics of performance. Nine string players are grouped in three, with two double basses to extend the range. The oboe leads, rather like an incantation. (...)

Amaral’s Paraphrase was premiered in London in February 2006, by the Sinfonietta under Peter Eötvös, Amaral’s mentor and conducting teacher. At the time, I thought it was too inhibited, though it clearly had potential. How delighted I was to hear it again, played in a much wilder, more vivacious manner! It’s a piece that arose from an earlier work. Apparently, Amaral takes ideas from the first, transmuting them into something completely different. Before the concert in 2006, he described the process as being like the way buildings grow out of earlier structures, an unending sequence of renewal. Whatever its origins, Paraphrases is a vigorous, passionate piece. It’s shaped with bold, strong blocks of sound. Within each block the layers are detailed, yet are integrated well and move together, each stage of development clearly defined, so even when there are ricochets and reiterations, the overall structure is strong. It must be a pleasure to play because individual parts are interesting. The trombone curls and twists, and, at critical turning points, the violins lead, but playing extremely quietly, so you hardly realize the significance of the figure before it passes, which is even more effective than if they were obvious. Primarily though, this is a dialogue between piano and trumpet, crossing diagonally over the rest of the orchestra. Paul Archibald was the soloist this time. The pianist was again the esteemed John Constable. The vivacity of the trumpet inventions contrasted well with the more measured, solemn piano.

Amaral is still young (born 1972) but has plenty of potential. I hope the Gulbenkian recordings will be successful and bring more attention. Like the Finns, the Portuguese seem to produce a lot of interesting music relative to the size of their populations, but from past experience, the music hasn’t been effectively marketed. (...)

Amaral’s music, especially, is distinctly mainstream European, so I hope we’ll hear much more of him.»

Anne Ozorio,
Seen and Heard international [www.musicweb-international.com]
(London, June 2007)



Lisbon: Centro Cultural de Belém
(Pianists: Ana Telles & Ana C. Bernardo)

Music for Two Pianos (Christopher Bochmann)


Performance of A-Synthesiser part from Peter Eötvös's

Torino, Italy
(Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai, conductor: P. Eötvös)

Pop cisuM (a musical improvisation)A[NEW commission: Drumming - Percussion Ensemble] Braga, Compostela (Drumming/Miquel Bernat);

Performance of A-Synthesiser part from Peter Eötvös's

Hamburg, Germany
(Hamburg Staatsoper Orchestra, conductor: P. Eötvös )

...Textos, Parafrases, Perspectivas...A(piano cadences) French/Italian tour of Anne-Lise Gastaldi with piano works of the "Prix de Rome", from Berlioz until Amaral [CONTINUATION]



Main concerts 2006

LuminescencesAParis: Cité de la Musique; Poitiers: Les concerts Allumés; Lyon: Grame (L'instant Donné, C.Desjardins); Organa Rennes Ebruitez-vous! Festival (Ensemble Ebruitez-vous!/Y.Krier);


LuminescencesAStrasbourg: Musica Festival (L'instant Donné, C.Desjardins); Abstract [NEW commission: Casa da Musica] Strasbourg: Musica Festival [September 24], Paris: Thêatre des Bouffes du Nord [October 23], Porto: Casa da Música [November: 4 & 5] (Remix Ensemble soloist: J.F.Silva); Great interview by Bastien Gallet, at "Espace 2" / Radio Swisse Romande, followed by the integral broadcasting of Amaral's concert at Archipel Festival (with the premiere in Switzerland of his Luminescences);

Stockhausen's Trans
Lisbon Musica Viva Festival (Gulbenkian Orchestra);
Live interview at Italian radioARai Tre, followed by the broadcasting of Amaral'sA concert at Villa Medici - Densités, Script, Transmutations


South-American premieres of:
Funf Sternzeichen (Stockhausen), zeroPoints (Eötvös)
world premiere of Pan (Flo Menezes)

Sao Paulo: City Theatre
(Sao Paulo City Symphony Orchestra);

...Textos, Paráfrases, Perspectivas... (piano cadences)AParis: Institut Cervantes (Jean-Marie Cottet);
ScriptAParis: IRCAM (P.Carneiro);A
LuminescencesA[NEW commission: French State] Lyon: Grame - Biennale Musiques en Scène (Geneva); Organa Brussels: Ars Musica (Prometheus Ensemble/E.Siebens);

musical direction of eight short operas:

A morte de João Espergueiro (Eduardo Patriarca)
Carta do Achamento (Bruno Gabirro)
A Floresta em Dodona (Angela Lopes)
O Gelo (Luis Soldado)

Jerusalem (Vasco Mendonca)
Antígona (Luis Cardoso)
Orfeu (Fernando Lobo)
Camões (Sara Carvalho)

Lisbon: St. Louis Theatre
(Portuguese Youth Symphony Orchestra);

ParaphraseA[NEW commission: Gulbenkian Foudation] London: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Lisbon: Gulbenkian Hall (London Sinfonietta/P.Eötvös);
LenziAFlorence: Palazzo Lenzi / TempoReale (C.Desjardins);


Main concerts 2005

...from October...

...Textos, Parafráses, Perspectivas...A(piano cadences) French/Italian tour of Anne-Lise Gastaldi with piano works of the "Prix de Rome", from Berlioz until Amaral;

monographic concerts - Densités, Script, Transmutations -ARome and Naples (soloist: P.Carneiro, Helios Ensemble/P.Amaral); Anamorphoses Musica Viva Festival (Gulbenkian Orchestra/R.Rivolta);


Etude sur la permanence du gesteA[NEW commission: Ensemble SeicentoNovecento] Roma: Villa Lante (A.Giovannini: contraltista, F.Quattrocchi: pianoforte storico Pleyel);


Stockhausen's Hymnen mit Orchester
Lisbon: Culturgest (Portuguese Youth Symphony Orchestra);

DensitésA[NEW commission: WDR] Witten festival (Ensemble InterContemporain);
OrganaATokyo Opera City (Ars Respirant Ensemble/P.Amaral); Lisbon: CCB (OrquestrUtopica Ensemble/C.Costa);