António Chagas Rosa

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Born: 1960Portugal
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  • Piano Sonata (1988) Premiered the same year at the concert hall "De IJsbreker" of Amsterdam. Repeatedly performed in Portugal and Holland. Recorded by Nancy Harper for Numérica (Port.)
  • Tres Gacelas for contralto and chamber orchestra (1988/89). A song cycle upon poems by Lorca. Premiered at the concert hall "De Unie" in Rotterdam and performed the next year in Lisbon at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation by Sharon Cooper and Michel Tabachnik.
  • Meghasandesham for harpsichord and string quartet (1989/90). Premiered in Lisbon in 1990 and, after being revised, in Kiev in 1993 during the 2nd Forum of New Music.
  • Antinous for string quartet and large orchestra (1990/92). Created at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon during the Modern Music Days of 1994 with the Chilingirian String Quartet and the Gulbenkian Orchestra conducted by Lucas Pfaff.
  • Songs of the Beginning for high voice and piano (1992). Songs upon a poem of Lao-Tze, written for the Canadian soprano Janice Jackson and premiered in Amsterdam at the "De IJsbreker" the same year; recorded by the Dutch radio KRO.
  • Canticles for the Remission of Hunger,a chamber opera in six scenes (1992/94). This opera was selected by the Acarte Festival of Lisbon to stand together with Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater of Wuppertal at the music theatre program of the year 1994.
  • Afonso Domingues, por exemplo for tenor and piano (1994/97). A song cycle with poems by Paulo Lages; premiered at the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, in Holland, during a jubileum of the Dutch foundation "Vrienden van het Lied".
  • Angkor for viola and piano (1994/95). Premiered in Stockholm by members of the Swedish chamber orchestra "KammerensembleN" to whicht his work was dedicated. Played in Holland, Germany and Portugal.
  • Piano Concerto (1994/95). Written for the Xth International Music Festival of Macau (1996); this work was performed by the American pianist Jay Gottlieb and by the Beijing Central Opera Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ronald Zollman. Recorded by the Portuguese radio and later broadcasted throughout Europe by means of the „Union de Radios Européene“.
  • O Céu sob as Entranhas, for baritone and piano trio (1996). A song cycle written upon poems by the Portuguese poet Luís Miguel Nava, as the result of a commission from the national radio RDP 2. Premiered at the Theatre of São Carlos, Lisbon’s opera house.
  • Sept Épigrammes de Platon, for soprano and piano (1997). A song cycle written upon a set of poems by Plato. Commissioned by the Acarte culture centre of Lisbon.
  • 3 Consolations, for recorder and chamber orchestra (1997/98). A chamber concerto commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon, premiered during its modern music festival of 1999.
  • Moh, for chamber orchestra (1998). Dedicated to "Klangforum Wien" and premiered in Vienna during the 1998 edition of the Wien Modern Festival.
  • Four Cartoons, for solo prepared marimba (1999). Dedicated to the Portuguese marimba virtuoso Pedro Carneiro. Performed in several countries.
  • Non Altro, for tenor, piano and tape (1999). A song cycle commissioned by the Portuguese Fundação da Casa de Mateus, and dedicated to Marcel Beekman and Hans Adolfsen. Premiéred at the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam in February 2000. Other concerts followed in Holland and Portugal.
  • Altro (2000), for piccolo and piano, premiered in Santa Maria da Feira, already recorded on CD.
  • What the afternoon and the mountain said, for piano (2000). Premiered by Marino Formenti at the Los Angeles County Museum in April of 2000.
  • Melodias Estranhas (2000/1), a chamber opera in 3 acts commissioned by the cities of Oporto and Rotterdam, Cultural Capitals of Europe in 2001, upon a libreto by the Dutch poet Gerrit Komrij. Premiered at the Stadsschouwburg of Rotterdam in December 2001.
  • Quatrains du Secret Estude (2002), for chorus a capella, upon texts by Nostradamus, commissioned by the Nederlands Kamerkoor of Amsterdam.
  • …pour les temps glissants… (2002), for bass clarinet and string trio, commissioned by the Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa.
  • Zwei Kleinbauernlieder (2002), for tenor and piano, upon texts by Raphael Urweider, commissioned by the Iberia Festival 2002 (Musikhochschule Zürich/Winterthur); premiered in September 2002 by Marcel Beekman and Hans Adolfsen.
  • Deep Water Music (2002), for 4 drum players, commissioned by the Portuguese percussion group ‘Drumming’.
  • Naishapur (2003), for baritone, percussion and piano, a song cycle upon poems by Fernando Pessoa, commissioned by the Jeunesse Festival (Vienna 2003).

Published works

  • Songs of the Beginning, Donemus, Amsterdam 1996.
  • Trois Consolations, Fermata, Porto 1999.
  • Moh, Fermata, Porto 1999.
  • Sept Épigrammes de Platon, Musicoteca, Lisboa 1999.
  • Melodias Estranhas, Fermata, Porto 2001
  • Quatrains du secret estude, Fermata, Porto, 2004.


  • Piano Sonata, by Nancy Lee Harper. Numérica Editora.
  • Altro, by Jorge Salgado and Helena Marinho, Numérica Editora.
  • 4 Cartoons, by Pedro Carneiro, Deux-Elles, UK.


António Chagas Rosa studied piano at the Conservatório Nacional and history at the New University of Lisbon. From 1984 to 1987, with a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon, Chagas Rosa studied Contemporary Piano and Chamber Music with Alexander Hrisanide at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Between 1987 and 1992, with a scholarship granted by the Portuguese government, he studied composition at the Rotterdams Conservatory under Klaas de Vries and Peter Jan Wagemans.

In The Netherlands, António Chagas Rosa worked as a repetiteur and assistant at the Dutch opera house, Het Muziektheater, and became a teacher of the opera class at the Sweelinck Conservatorium. Among other productions, he worked with Robert Wilson during for De Materie by Louis Andriessen, and with Oliver Knussen during the rehearsals of "Die Glückliche Hand", by Arnold Schönberg. As a pianist he took part in many of the concerts organized by the Gaudeamus and "The Unanswered Question" foundations. In 1989, being invited by the dance group Dansproductie of Amsterdam, he performed music by John Cage for prepared piano in many Dutch cities as well as in London, Mulhouse and Gent.

In 1994, the Acarte department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation commissioned him with the composition of the chamber opera "Canticles for the remission of hunger", upon a libretto by the Portuguese writer Paulo Lages. Further commissions were provided by the International Music Festival of Macau, the Portuguese Radio (Antena 2), the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, the Casa de Mateus Foundation, the Nederlands Kamerkoor, and many others.

His works have been performed in several modern music festivals in Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the U.S.A., Macau and Hong-Kong, etc. In 1997 he represented Portugal in the Tribune Intérnationale des Compositeurs (UNESCO) in Paris with his concerto for piano and orchestra. During the 1998 edition of Wien Modern , the Austrian ensemble Klangforum premiered Moh (commissioned by the Portuguese festival Music in November); this piece was also performed in Spain (Ensems, Valencia) and Portugal ( Serralves hall, in Porto) by the Remix Ensemble, with Stefan Asbury as conductor.

In 1999 and 2002 he was member of the juri of the Premio Valentino Bucchi Competition for Composition in Rome. In 2000 his song cycle Non Altro for tenor, piano and electronics was premiered at the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, by Marcel Beekman and Hans Adolfsen. Several of his works are published in Portugal and Holland (Fermata, Musicoteca, Donemus), and there are recordings of his Piano Sonata, Altro for piccolo and piano (Numérica, Port.), and of 4 Cartoons for prepared marimba (Deux Elles, UK).

António Chagas Rosa’s latest opera — Melodias Estranhas — upon a libreto by the Dutch writer Gerrit Komrij, was the result of a joint commission made by the cities of Oporto and Rotterdam, European Capital of Culture in 2001. It tells three episodes of the life of the 16th century humanist philosopher Damião de Góis, student and friend of Erasmus of Rotterdam. Also a composer, he was accused by the Inquisition of writing inappropriate (polyfonic) music, imprisioned and later killed. The premiere of this opera took place at the Schouwburg of Rotterdam, as a joint production of Casa da Música (Oporto) and the Onafhankelijk Toneel of Rotterdam.

His most recent works include composisitons for the Nederlands Kamerkoor of Amsterdam, the Contemporary Music Group of Lisbon, the Portuguese percussion group Drumming and the Austrian Jeunesse Festival.

Since 1996 António Chagas Rosa teaches Chamber Music at the University of Aveiro (Portugal), at the Department of Communication and Arts.

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