Alexandre Delgado was born in Lisbon on 1965. Portuguese composer of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed across Europe very successfully. He is also a talented violist.
Mr. Delgado began his musical studies with the pianist Fátima Fraga and studied chamber music and violin at the Fundação Musical dos Amigos das Crianças from 1978–85, where he was concertmaster and conductor of the youth orchestra. He was a private pupil of Joly Braga-Santos from 1981–85, and his Prelúdio for strings, written at age 16, was first performed in Lisbon in 1982 by the Radio Symphony Orchestra.
He graduated in composition and violin as an external student of the Conservatório de Música in Lisbon in 1982. He studied composition with Jacques Charpentier in France from 1986–89 (with a scholarship from the Portuguese Ministry of Culture), graduating with distinction at the Nice Conservatoire.
As a violist, he studied with Barbara Friedhoff, graduating in France with distinction and winning the “Young Musicians Award” in Lisbon in 1987. He was a member of the European Community Youth Orchestra (1988–89), musical assistant to the RDP (Portuguese Radio, 1989–91) and a member of the Gulbenkian Orchestra (1991–95).
He is a founding member of the Lacerda String Quartet and keeps an intense involvement in chamber music, having premièred several works of his own and of his colleagues. He recently gave two recitals with piano in Rome and Paris with Bruno Belthoise, with whom he recorded a CD in December 2001 (featuring the Sonatina by Armando José Fernandes, for Coriolan).
As a composer, Mr. Delgado has won many awards, including the “João de Freitas Branco Award” (1992), and has received commissions from festivals in London and Wales. His Langará for clarinet was an imposed piece at the International Competition for Young Musicians in Lisbon in 1993 and Antagonia for cello was selected for performance by the ISCM World Music Days in Mexico City in 1993. In March 2001, he was guest composer at the Maastricht Festival (Holland), where several of his works were performed, including the Viola Concerto.
His chamber opera O Doido e a Morte, based on the farce by Raul Brandão, was premièred at the São Carlos Theatre in Lisbon in November 1994, under his direction, and was later staged at the Theater am Halleschen Ufer in Berlin in December 1996. He is now working on two chamber operas that will form, with the previous one, a Trilogy of Madness.
He has written several studies about Portuguese music, namely concerning Luís de Freitas Branco (about whom he gave conferences in Rome) and Carlos de Andrade (1884–1930) — his great-grandfather — a modernist composer whose work he revealed for the first time in January 2000. He wrote the book “A Sinfonia em Portugal”, published in October 2001 by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture. A music critic in Portuguese newspapers since 1990, he has a program of musical analysis on Antena 2, the cultural channel of the RDP.
He is presently a free-lance performer, as well as a full-time composer.