Armando Possante began his musical studies at the age of 6. He later studied in the Superior Music School of Lisbon and concluded the Gregorian Chant, Choir Conducting and Singing courses. He is currently a teacher in this school. After attending several masterclasses with Max van Egmond, Christianne Eda-Pierre, Linda Hirst, Richard Wistreich, Christoph Prégardien, Siegfried Jerusalem, Jill Feldman and Peter Harrison, he started to travel regularly to Vienna where he studied under Kämmersängerin Hilda Zadek.
He was granted the 3rd prize and Bach award in the Iberian Voices competition, the 3rd prize and the award for best performance of a Portuguese work in the Luisa Todi Singing Competition 2003 and the 1st prize in the 7th Estoril Interpretation Competition. He was also awarded, as a conductor, the Bärenreiter award for the best performance of a Renaissance work in the C. A. Seghizzi competition in Italy. As an ensemble singer in Grupo Vocal Olisipo he conquered the 1st prize in four international competitions in Bulgaria, Finland and Italy.
Besides conducting and singing with Olisipo, Armando Possante is currently a soloist and conductor of the Gregorian Choir of Lisbon and has been a freelance singer with the Nederlands Kamerkoor. With these ensembles he has performed all over Portugal as well as in most of Europe, Canada, Northern Africa and Asia and recorded over a dozen CDs for EMI and Decca, among other labels.
As an oratorio singer he has performed with many of the most important orchestras in Portugal in works such as Bach’s B Minor Mass and Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Krönungsmesse and Requiem, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Fauré’s and Duruflé’s Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He also performs regularly as a Lied singer having sung, among other works, Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.
His opera premiere was in the part of Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte. He later took on main roles in Blow’s Venus and Adonis, Sousa Carvalho’s L’Amore Industrioso, António Teixeira’s As Variedades de Proteu, Marcos Portugal’s La Donna di Genio Volubile, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Charpentier’s La Déscente d’Orphée aux Enfers, Scarlatti´s La Dirindina and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. He also premiered Carrapatoso’s A Floresta, Amaral’s O Sonho and Christopher Bochmann’s Corpo e Alma.
Tiago Simas Freire
Tiago Simas Freire is a PhD in Music and Musicology (University of Coimbra and Jean-Monnet University) and a Master in Architecture (IST-UL), Recorder and Cornetto (CNSMD-Lyon). His doctoral project received the “Prix d'excellence Doctorat 2018” from the Jean-Monnet University Foundation.
Tiago has been in the Departments of Early Music of ESMAE (Porto), ESMUC (Barcelona) and CNSMD (Lyon): he studied recorder with Pedro Sousa Silva, Pedro Memelsdorff and Pierre Hamon; and cornetto with William Dongois and Jean Tubéry.
He performs regularly in concert with various groups, namely Le Concert Brisé (William Dongois), La Fenice (Jean Tubéry),Concerto Soave (Jean-Marc Aymes), Cappella Mediterranea (Leonardo Garcia-Alarcon). He founded Capella Sanctae Crucis, dedicated to the unpublished Portuguese repertoire of the 16th and 17th centuries, having released their first album in 2017 with the label Harmonia Mundi.
Since 2014 he has taught Cornetto and Ornamentation at ESMAE/ESML International Courses on Early Music. He is a research assistant at HEM Geneva since 2016. In 2018 he was invited to teach “History of Ornamentation” and “Scientific Methodology Applied to Ancient Music” at CNSMD-Lyon.
Owen Rees is a Reader in the Faculty of Music, Fellow, Tutor and Organist of The Queen’s College, and Senior Research Fellow of Somerville College.
Born in 1964, he read music at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he held an Organ Scholarship. His postgraduate research was likewise undertaken at Cambridge, under the supervision of Peter le Huray and Iain Fenlon, and he completed his doctorate in 1991. He was Lecturer in Music at St Peter’s College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, 1989-1991, and then Lecturer and — from 1996 — Reader in the Department of Music at the University of Surrey. He took up his current posts in Oxford in 1997, and was promoted to reader in 2006.
He is active as both scholar and performer, and these two areas of his work inform one another. His research is concerned principally with music from 1450 to 1650, particularly in Spain and Portugal, and in England. His monograph on the largest surviving collection of early Portuguese musical sources — from the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra — deals both with Portuguese repertories and with cultural and musical connections between Portugal and other countries. He has edited music by three of the most important Portuguese composers of the period, Manuel Cardoso, Pedro de Cristo and Duarte Lobo. His published work on Spanish music has included studies of the works of Cristóbal de Morales and Francisco Guerrero, including issues of emulation. He has also written on the sacred music of William Byrd.
His research is frequently reflected in the performances and recordings of the various vocal groups which he directs:Contrapunctus, The Choir of The Queen’s College, and The Cambridge Taverner Choir. With these groups he has released recordings on the Hyperion, Guild, and Herald labels, including six recordings of Portuguese polyphony by Manuel Cardoso, Duarte Lobo, Pedro de Cristo, and other composers. He presents numerous concerts with these groups, in the UK and abroad, each year. Recent festival appearances include: Oslo Kirchenmusic Festival, Festival International “Portico de Semana Santa de Zamora”, and the York Early Music Festival. As Organist of The Queen’s College, he directs the Choir in its provision of music at chapel services (three each week during termtime), concerts, tours, and recordings.
His Faculty teaching at Oxford has included many areas of Renaissance music, as well as historical performance practice and choral conducting. Recent undergraduate topics have included Music and the Protestant Reformations to c. 1630 and Music in the Iberian World, 1492-1650. At Queen’s and Somerville he teaches many areas of the undergraduate course, including historical topics, techniques of stylistic composition, analysis, and keyboard skills. He has supervised postgraduate dissertations on a wide range of topics, particularly within the fields of Renaissance and Baroque music.
She is currently a senior researcher at CESEM-FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He is also a member of Wolfson College in Oxford. PhD in 1987 at Somerville College in Oxford with a thesis on Iberian music for Renaissance and early Baroque organ.
She has worked at institutions such as the Universities of Oxford, Hong Kong, the Royal Holloway College London, and the Ashmolean Museum. Nelson has published extensively on topics related to Iberian and French-Polyphonic music, such as institutional, music-liturgical and compositional studies, key music and the sacred music of Noel Bauldeweyn and Cristóbal de Morales. His interests include exchanges and influences between northern and southern European culture and music during the Renaissance period.
Her current research projects focus on music, musicians and ceremony at the Portuguese court and chapel and music and musicians at the court of D. Teodosius I, Duke of Bragança. Recent publications include: Cristales de Morales: Sources, Influences, Reception (co-ed. O. Rees: Boydell & Brewer, 2007); and ‘Pure Gold. Golden Age Sacred Music in the Iberian World: A Homage to Bruno Turner '(co-ed. T. Knighton: Reichenberger, 2011).
Nelson has participated in several FCT-funded research projects in music and art history, the most recent being “The Anatomy of the Iberian Polyphony of the Late 15th and Early 16th Century” (Dir. João Pedro d'Alvarenga at CESEM). She is the coordinator of the polyphony sources section of CESEM's “Portuguese Early Music Database”, and founder and co-director (with Owen Rees) of the Oxford-based British group A Capella Portuguesa.
David Joseph Yacus
Born in Winchester (Massachusetts, USA), he grew up on the island of Nantucket. He graduated in 1988 from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston). In 1989, while attending the post-graduate courses of the Juilliard School, he was selected by Zubin Mehta, as the winner of an audition, for a place in the Maggio Musicale Orchestra in Florence. With the Maggio Musicale Orchestra he performs concerts and recordings with renowned conductors international including Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Riccardo Muti.
At the same time begins to deepen his interests for the music and instruments of the ‘500 and‘ 600, extending subsequently his own research both towards the Middle Ages and towards classicism and beyond. In 1994 leaves the Maggio Musicale Orchestra to devote himself to historical-philological research and performing the repertoire from the Middle Ages onwards, reconstructed in the light of the study of the sources age and through the use of historical instruments and the performance practice of the different periods taken into consideration. He currently devotes most of his energy to the ancient music industry, which sees it protagonist both in research on performance practice and recovery of the repertoire and in intense concert activity.
He collaborates with prestigious orchestras and Italian and foreign musical formations (Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan, Concerto Italiano, Concerto Palatino, Freiburger Barockorchester, La Fenice Ensemble, Les Haulz et Les Bas, La Pifarescha) and is regularly present in the productions of the major broadcasters international radio and television (RAI, Schweizer Radio, Radiotelevisione della Svizzera Italiana, Radio France, Radio Österreich, National Public Radio USA, BBC Radio 3). He cooperated to the recording of numerous CDs (Harmonia Mundi France, Glossa, Harmonia Mundi USA, Stradivarius, Brilliant Classics, CPO, Amadeus) that have received important and excellent prizes criticisms from the specialized press. He was a professor at the "G. Puccini" Conservatory in La Spezia, and for the "Music in Italy" program of Furman University (USA). He gave masterclasses at Oxford University, at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland), at the "Guido Cantelli" Conservatory of Novara, and at the Escuela Superior de Musica, Mexico City.
He obtained his master's degree in choral direction from the Lisbon School of Music, where he worked with Maestro Vasco Pearce de Azevedo and Paulo Lourenço. He was a teacher at the Lisbon School of Education, teaching Vocal Education and Choir Direction, in the course Music in the Community. He was a member of the Gregorian Choir of Lisbon, where he was a soloist. He was also a singer at the Gulbenkian Choir, where he served as guest assistant conductor. He directs the Ricercare Choir, where he worked with Paulo Lourenço as assistant conductor, becoming full conductor in 2002; is artistic director of the Vocal Officium Group;
He is artistic director of the «International Days School of Music of the Évora Cathedral», an organization of Eboræ Musica - Musical Association of Évora, which already has twenty-one annual editions. In 2002 he received the award “The most promising conductor of Tonen 2002” in the Netherlands. At the international level, he has been conducting since 2011 in Barcelona, together with Peter Philips, Ivan Moody and Jordi Abelló, the workshop «Victoria400», a choir singing studio dedicated to Spanish, Portuguese and Orthodox Renaissance and contemporary music. From 2012 to 2018, he was titular conductor of the Choir of the Comunidad de Madrid.
Joana Nascimento studied singing at the National Conservatory School of Music with Manuela de Sá. Later she worked with Liliana Bizineche and Susana Teixeira. As a Gulbenkian Foundation fellow, she studied at the Trinity College of Music in London under the guidance of Hazel Wood. Attended further training courses with Jill Feldman, Peter Harvey, Peter Harrison, Helmut Lips, Marius van Altena, Max van Egmond, Martyn Hill, Iris dell'Acqua, Omar Ebrahim, Ian Pastridge, Dorothy Dorow, Robert Tear and Ron Murdock. others.
As a soloist, he sang works by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach, Händel, Pergolesi, Mozart (among others, Requiem, at the CCB Grand Auditorium), Haydn, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Bruckner, Vaughan Williams, Honegger, Stockhausen. and Louis Andriessen (under the 26th Gulbenkian Encounters of Contemporary Music). She played Pastore in the opera L'Orfeo de Monteverdi, Joaz in the opera of the same name as Benedetto Marcello, Fatima in the opera Zaira de Marcos Portugal (modern premiere at the Gulbenkian Foundation Grand Auditorium), Strawberry Woman in the Porgy and Bess de Gershwin, and Mrs. Noye at Britten's Noye's Fludde opera. He performed with the Gulbenkian Orchestra at the Festival ao Largo (initiative of the São Carlos National Theater) performing El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla. In recital, he performed with pianists Helena Rodrigues, João Crisóstomo and Nicholas McNair.
He is a founding member of the vocal group Voces Caelestes. Collaborates regularly with the vocal group Officium and the Gulbenkian Choir. As a soloist, she participated in the CD A Chapel of King Magnânimo for the PortugalSom label, with music by Francisco António de Almeida and Domenico Scarlatti. As part of his collaboration with the group Vozes Alfonsinas, specializing in the medieval and renaissance repertoire, he recorded the CD O Tempo dos Trovadores, published by PortugalSom. He also performs as a soloist on the 17th Century CD Vilancicos Negros (Choir Gulbenkian, directed by Maestro Jorge Matta), released by Portugaler. Parallel to his artistic work, he develops intense activity in the field of voice pedagogy.
Nicholas McNair - Teacher at ESML since 1988. Teaches UCs Singing Repertoire, Corruption, Sheet Music Reading, Harmonization and Piano Improvisation, Organ Improvisation, Auditory Training for Singers, and Instrumental Improvisation Group (option). Member of the Canterbury Cathedral Choir (head 1964), studied piano, organ and composition, having diplomas from the Royal College of Organists and Royal College of Music (London), and a Master of Arts degree from Cambridge University.
Pedro Lopes e Castro
Pedro Castro was born in 1977 in Porto. He is a graduate of the Lisbon Higher School of Music under the guidance of Pedro Couto Soares and the Royal Hague Conservatory in the Netherlands under the guidance of Sebastian Marq (flute) and Ku Ebbinge (Baroque oboe). As part of the master's degree in musical arts at the New University of Lisbon, he presented the thesis “Serenata L'Angelica - a performative study”. He completed his doctorate in music at the University of Aveiro defending a thesis on the tradition of serenade in the time of D. Maria I.
His professional activity includes several orchestras and groupings of historical instruments in the main European artistic centers. In October 2010, he directed the modern debut of João de Sousa Carvalho's Serenade “L''Angelica”. In 2012 she directed Gluck's Opera "Paride ed Elena" in a production staged by Clara Andermatt. As a soloist she performed with the Royal Chapel Orchestra, Divine Sospiro Orchestra and Casa da Música Baroque Orchestra with concerts for oboe and orchestra by Vivaldi, Telemann, Marcello and J.S. Bach. In the classical oboe and with the Arabesque Quartet, he performed with the Mozart Quartet, an icon of the virtuoso repertoire of classicism. He also collaborates with the Seven Tears with which he made several recordings and tours in Europe.
He is the artistic coordinator of the Campestre Concert with whom he directed, recorded and edited the first modern recording of João de Sousa Carvalho's Serenade L'Angelica, distributed worldwide by Naxos. He collaborates with the master builders Mario Estanislau and Vítor Estanislau in the reproduction of copies of the Eichentopf oboe deposited at the Music Museum in Lisbon. Teaches historical oboes and chamber music at ESMAE and ESML.
José Rodrigues Gomes studied musicology, recorder and historical bassoons in Portugal and The Netherlands, focusing his research on the use of the dulcian in Portugal in the XVII and XVIII centuries.
He collaborates regularly with some of the world's leading period instruments' Orchestras and Ensembles, having worked with renowned musicians such as Enrico Onofri, Laurence Cummings, Marc Minkowski, Masaaki Suzuki or Leonardo García Alarcón.
José is a member of Capella Sanctae Crucis, under artistic direction of Tiago Simas Freire; and co-founder of the Thalia Ensemble – specialized in classical and early romantic repertoire for forte-piano and winds. The Ensemble won the first prize in 2013's “York Early Music International Young Artists Competition” – UK. Thalia Ensemble's debut cd – wind quintets by Anton Reicha – was released by Linn Records.
Since 2014 he teaches historical bassoon and chamber music at the early music department of ESMAE (Porto – Portugal).
Besides his intense activity as performer and teacher, José created the practice Excite Insight Coaching, working as a Life Coach (certified professional by the Consciousness Coaching Academy ®). In all his professional activities, José embodies and transmits values like motivation, inspiration, transcendence and connection.