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The Matosinhos String Quartet, created in 2007 as an iniciative of the Matosinhos City Hall, is formed by violinists Vitor Vieira and Juan Maggiorani, violist Jorge Alves and cellist Marco Pereira. They all studied at the Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra (Lisbon) and at various prestigious schools abroad, including the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia (Madrid), Northwestern University (Chicago) and Sion Conservatory (Switzerland). The quartet also had specialized training at the Instituto Internacional de Musica de Camara de Madrid, where they studied with Rainer Schmidt (violinist of the Hagen Quartet). Masterclasses and regular coaching at their schools included contact with members of leading string quartets, such as Alban Berg, Lasalle, Emerson, Melos, Vermeer, Kopelman and Talich. All members were awarded prizes at portuguese and international competitions, as soloists and within chamber music groups. Most recently, the Matosinhos String Quartet was awarded second prize at the Alcobaça International Chamber Music Competition (Portugal) in 2009. First prizes at the "Prémio Jovens Músicos" Competition also led to concerts of then Tacet String Quartet at venues such as the Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), Sintra International Music Festival and Casa da Música (Oporto). The Matosinhos String Quartet presently has a regular concert season, in which focus is given to the commission, performance and recording of works by portuguese composers. The Quartet has premiered works by Carlos Azevedo, Fernando Lapa, Vasco Mendonça, Miguel Azguime, Eurico Carrapatoso, António Chagas Rosa, Nuno Corte-Real and a Concerto for String Quartet by António Pinho Vargas (premiered at the Casa da Música with the Oporto National Orchestra in October 2009). Other projects include the performance of complete cycles by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. The Matosinhos String Quartet has made appearances at some of Portugal's most important festivals, such as the "Dias da Música" at Centro Cultural de Belém, and the Espinho and Póvoa de Varzim International Music Festivals. It also colaborates with leading portuguese musicians: pianists Carlos Azevedo (at the premiere of his piano quintet), António Rosado and Miguel Borges Coelho, clarinetists António Saiote and Bruno Graça, and cellist Paulo Gaio Lima.