Manuel Pedro Ferreira

musicologist, critic, composer

Manuel Pedro Ferreira took the transversal flute course with Carlos Franco at Lisbon's National Conservatory. He graduated in Philosophy from Lisbon University and dedicated himself to the study of mediaeval music. He presented his Musicology PhD dissertation on Gregorian chant at the Cluny Abbey at Princeton University (USA). He taught at the Arts School of the Portuguese Catholic University in Porto between 1997 and 2000 and ever since gives lectures on History and Analysis of the Renaissance and the Middle Ages at the Music Sciences Department of Lisbon's Universidade Nova (FCSH), which he sometime coordinated. He is also a member and chairman of this university's Music Sociology and Aesthetics Research Centre.

Dedicated mainly to musicological studies, Manuel Pedro Ferreira published a vast number of papers on early and contemporary Portuguese music, the former published in countries as diverse as Canada, Russia, Iran, and in a variety of European contexts. He received the Music Essay Award from the Portuguese Music Council for his 1986 bilingual book “The Sound of Martim Codax” and was responsible for the facsimile edition of both Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Publia Hortensia de Elvas (1989) and the Porto 714 MS (2001). He also published “Cantus Coronatus — Seven cantigas d'amor by King Dinis” (2005); “Antologia de Música em Portugal na Idade Média e no Renascimento”, 2 vols., 2 CDs (2008); “Aspectos da Música Medieval no Ocidente Peninsular”, 2 vols. (2009-2010). He also edited a double issue of the “Revista Portuguesa de Musicologia” (2004-2005) and the following books: “Dez compositores portugueses. Percursos da escrita musical no século XX” (2007); “Medieval Sacred Chant: from Japan to Portugal” (2008); “A Sé de Braga. Arte, Liturgia e Música, do final do século XI à época tridentina” (with Ana Maria Rodrigues; 2009); “New Music”, “1400-1600: Papers from an International Colloquium on the Theory”, “Authorship and Transmission of Music in the Age of the Renaissance” (with João Pedro d’Alvarenga; 2009).

He held research grants from JNICT, the Fulbright Commission and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, having afterwards continued to develop his studies in mediaeval music, both in Portugal and abroad. He has also participated in interdisciplinary research teams in Portugal, France and Spain and led several research projects funded by the local Foundation for Science and Technology. In 2010 he was elected a member of the Academia Europaea, a London-based scientific organization.

Manuel Pedro Ferreira was the youngest President of the Portuguese Musical Youth and co-director of the Portuguese Music Council (1985-1987). He took part in the advisory team of "Lisbon 94 – European Capital of Culture" and had his own programme at the National Broadcast Radio station Antena 2 between 1995 and 1998.

He wrote hundreds of music press articles for such periodicals as Música & Som (1978-83), Expresso (1982-83), Grande Reportagem (1985) and Jornal de Letras (1983-89) and directed the periodicals Informação Musical (1981-83) and Arte Musical (1986). Since 2000 writes regularly as a music critic for the newspaper Público.

Premiered mostly in Portugal, his music pieces include chamber music (small instrumental ensembles and piano music) and choir music. Constança Capdeville and Luigi Nono were some of the people who encouraged him to compose. He attended some classes by Emmanuel Nunes, but considers himself self-taught.

In 1995 he created the early music ensemble Vozes Alfonsinas, which he also conducts. With this group he has already recorded five CDs dedicated to the interpretation of Renaissance and Mediaeval music.

Contact: Jakub Szczypa