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Details as performer
Portuguese composer and musicologist, Fernando Lopes-Graça was born on the 17th of December 1906 in Tomar and he died in Parede on the 27th of November 1994. He studied at the National Conservatory in Coimbra and in 1929 presented his first pieces: Variações Sobre um Tema Popular Português (Variations on a Portuguese Popular Theme), for piano, and Poemeto (Small Poet), for bowed strings orchestra. He lived in Coimbra between 1932 and 1936, where he collaborated with the literary group Presença. He travelled to Paris in the following year, where he enrolled in the Musicology class at the Sorbonne. That was when he decisively turned towards a nationalist orientation, exploring and producing in his own language the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements of Portuguese folklore. He returned to Lisbon in 1939 and worked intensively as a composer, critic, pianist, publicist, public speaker and organizer and conductor of popular choirs. In the following year he received the Composition Award from the Musical Cultural Circle for his 1º Concerto para Piano e Orquestra (First Orchestra and Piano Concerto). He would again receive this award in 1942, 1944 and 1952. He founded in 1942 a modern music concert association called “Sonata” and in 1951 the magazine Gazeta Musical. His nationalist orientation grew stronger and more mature in pieces like Suite Rústica (Rustic Suite), written for orchestra and using traditional Portuguese melodies, Cinco Velhos Romances Portugueses (Five Old Portuguese Romances), written for a small orchestra, Nove Canções Populares Portuguesas (Nine Portuguese Popular Songs), for voice and orchestra, Natais Portugueses (Portuguese Christmas) and Melodias Rústicas Portuguesas (Portuguese Rustic Melodies), both for piano, besides countless voice, piano and a capella choir cycles, in which he harmonized popular songs. (Enciclopédia Luso-Brasileira da Cultura, 20 vols., organized by MAGALHÃES; António Pereira; OLIVEIRA, Manuel Alves, 1st ed., Lisbon, Editorial Verbo, 9th vol., 1973, p.866)