Joly Braga Santos (1924-1988)
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
The 3 Symphonic Ouvertures by Joly Braga Santos (1924-1988) are works of reference of the Portuguese Music of last century and rank among his best compositions. Written in 1954, the Symphonic Ouverture n.º 3 denotes a markedly folkloric inspiration and is a brilliant symphonic piece full of vibrant rhythmic energy. Equally brilliant and with contagious vitality are the Symphonic Dancesthat Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) extracted from his most successful musical West Side Story composed in 1957. This orchestral suite animated by cool jazz and Latin dances follow the main episodes of Romeo and Juliet drama now transferred to the Manhattan slums. Newly-arrived from his tour to the United States, Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) also resorts to jazz influences in order to write between 1929 and 1931 his Piano Concert in G major. Premiered in Paris in 1932 this piece demands the highest level of technique and will be performed by Pedro Costa, winner of the 2013 XV Festival do Estoril Competition.
The Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa (OSP - Portuguese Symphony Orchestra), formed in 1993, is one of the São Carlos Opera House Theatre's performing arts groups. OSP has been carrying out its own symphonic activity, including regular concert programmes which have included its participation in Portuguese and international music festivals. Within the sphere of other types of cooperation, the Orchestra presence at the following events should also be pointed: the 8th Eurovision Young Musicians Contest broadcasted by Eurovision to fifteen countries (1996), the Granada 47th. Music and Dance International Festival Final Concert (1997), the Frankfurt Book Fair Opening Gala Concert, the Lisbon Expo 98 Final Concert, Alicante Contemporary Music Festival (2000) and the Mérida Festival of Classical Theatre (2003). OSP cooperates regularly with RTP – Rádio e Televisão de Portugal which was responsible for radio broadcasts of its concerts and operas on Antena 2 and televised broadcasting of Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen on RTP2. RTP also joins forces with OSP in the Pedro de Freitas Branco Award for Young Conductors, in the RDP Young Musicians Award and in the International Young Performers Showcase. OSP has performed in opera and concert seasons under the direction of renowned conductors such as Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Alain Lombard, Nello Santi, Alberto Zedda, Harry Christophers, George Pehlivanian, Michel Plasson, Krzysztof Penderecki, Djansug Kakhidze, Milán Horvat, Jeffrey Tate and Iuri Ahronovitch among others, and OSP discography includes two CDs for the Marco Polo label with Joly Braga Santos’ Symphonies No. 1, No. 5, No. 3 and No. 6 recorded under the direction of Álvaro Cassuto, by-then its Principal Music Director and “Crossing Borders” with music by Wagner, Gershwin, and Mendelssohn conducted of Julia Jones in a live recording for Antena 2. The position of OSP Principal Music Director was occupied by José Ramón Encinar (1999/2001), Zoltán Peskó (2001/2004) and Julia Jones (2008/2011); Donato Renzetti was Principal Guest Conductor from 2005 to 2007 and Joana Carneiro is presently OSP Principal Music Director.
Joana Carneiro is since January 2014 the Principal Music Director of the Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa (Portuguese Symphony Orchestra). In 2009, following Kent Nagano’s leadership, Joana Carneiro was appointed Berkeley Symphony Music Director, thus becoming the third Orchestra’s Music Director in its 40 years of activity. Joana Carneiro is the Gulbenkian Orchestra Guest Music Director as well as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Workshop for Orchestra (Youth Orchestra) Artistic Director. Joana Carneiro has conducted concerts with the Toronto, Gothenburg, Gävle, Malmö, Sydney and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras and with the Spanish National Orchestra, Radio France, Florida Orchestra and with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also conducted Peter Sellars’ production of Stravinky’s Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms at the Sydney Festival which was distinguished with the 2010 Helpmann Award for the best symphony concert, John Adam’s A Flowering Tree at the Chicago Opera Theatre and with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, in Lisbon, and at the Cité de la Musique, in Paris. Joana Carneiro was Esa-Pekka Salonen’s assistant at the Paris Ópera of the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater. She was Los Angeles Philharmonic Assistant Music Director where she worked with Esa-Pekka Salonen, her mentor, and conducted concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and at the Hollywood Bowl. She was Assistant Conductor with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Assistant Music Director and Campus Philarmonia Orchestra Music Director, Michigan. Joana Carneiro was born in Lisbon and studied Orchestral Conducting at Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra (National Superior Academy of Orchestra), in Lisbon. She concluded her Orchestral Conducting Master Degree at the University of Northwestern and continued her Doctorate studies at the University of Michigan. She studied with Kenneth Kiesler (Michigan), Kurt Masur (London), Michael Tilson Thomas (Miami), Victor Yampolsky (Chicago), Mallory Thompson (Chicago) and Jean-Marc Burfin (Lisbon). Since Joana Carneiro became the Musical Director of the Berkeley Symphony, the orchestra has received two programme awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Joana Carneiro received the 2010 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Symphony Orchestras aimed at acknowledging musical directors of outstanding potential. In July 2010, she received the D. Antónia Adelaide Ferreira Award and, in November 2010, the Amália Award for Classical Music. In March 2004, Joana Carneiro was awarded the Commendation of the Order of the Infante Dom Henrique by Jorge Sampaio, the President of the Portuguese Republic.