Musical projects

By Lynne Booker

The sound of music will soon be heard in the auditorium of the recently opened Escola Primária in Porta Nova in Tavira, in Praça Zacarias Guerreiro, next to the Igreja do Espírito Santo do Hospital.

For 11 years, the Academia de Música de Tavira has been based in a very attractive but run-down building in Rua João Vaz Corte Real to the north of the river in central Tavira. But this August, after a long struggle to find more spacious accommodation, the Academia will be moving.

The move can take place only because the Câmara Municipal has agreed to sponsor the use of the new space in the school. Here is one area where the Câmara is making progress! The managers of the Academia hope that this move will enable them to promote classical music as a central feature of cultural life in the Tavira area.

The two full-time managers and teachers at the academy are Josué Nunes (pictured) and Luís Conceição, and for six years they have organised the series of Saturday concerts at 6pm in some of Tavira’s 21 churches. These free concerts are popular with Tavirenses and estrangeiros alike. They call this series Música nas Igrejas, although the church in which they perform most of their concerts is the Ermida de São Sebastião.

One of the reasons for moving to new premises is that the school has an auditorium which can seat up to 60 people. With this new space, the Academia hopes to hold more classical concerts and concerts of a different kind of music.

There is also a large open air space where they can host jazz concerts. The series beginning in September 2013 will therefore be called Música nas Igrejas e na Academia. Josué has plans for Música na Academia.“These concerts will be special,” he said. “Music will be linked with wine tasting, talks and much more.”

In their new premises, Josué and Luís will be able to deliver more courses for both young people and adults. Not only do they have more space, but they have also been authorised by the Ministry of Education to expand on the basic courses they offer. The Academia staff may now teach an extra three grades, which means students can undertake all of their studies in Tavira without the need for students to commute to the Conservatório in Faro for their last three years.

The Academia will run classes from September 3 in the History of Music, Composition and Music Theory. For the future, Josué and Luís plan to increase the scope of their teaching to include ballet, hip-hop and percussion, and they plan to start up a choir and an orchestra. They have also applied for authorisation to run courses on the trumpet and the cello.

The Academia de Música is organising an international music competition for young people in the categories of guitar and piano, to be held in 2014.

Complementing the work of Josué and Luís, Irene Ainstein (Education Director at the Conservatório Regional in Faro and professor of piano at the Academia de Música in Tavira) together with the Algarve History Association, is organising a series of seven Sunday afternoon concerts in locations in the hills to the north of Tavira.

“It is my objective to make Tavira one of the most important places in Portugal for classical music,” said Josué. In order to achieve this objective, Josué and Luís clearly need to work hard and remain focussed.In their new space, and with the support of the Câmara, of the community, and of competition sponsors, the Academia de Música de Tavira is leading our city of Tavira towards a Musical Renaissance.

Josué Nunes began his studies at the Conservatório de Música do Algarve.He has been taught in several Master Classes with the guitarists Dejan Ivanovik, António Jorge Gonçalves, Darko Pedrinjak, Robert Brightmore and Hubert Kappel. He holds a first degree in guitar from the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa where he studied under Professor Piñero Nagy, and he is in the process of finishing his second degree in guitar.

Josué has performed solo and with a number of chamber music ensembles in various venues throughout Portugal. In 2000 he performed several recitals of classical guitar with the guitar quintet of the Algarve. In April of the same year he appeared at the Vienna Conservatory in Áustria and at the Conservatório de Tomar – Canto Firme and in 2003 at the 1st Festival of Classical Music in Tavira. Josué has been guest soloist at various international guitar festivals and the composer André Santos dedicated his work Bridge of Laments to him.

Josué is President of the Academia de Música in Tavira.

Luis Conceição was born on June 3, 1974, and started his musical studies at the age of five at the Algarve Regional Conservatory, where he completed the General Course of Piano. Moving then to the Universidade Nova de Lisboa he graduated in Musicology and later graduated at the Universidae de Évora in Piano. He is currently studying towards a master’s degree in piano at the Institute Jean Piaget.

He has worked as a pianist, accompanist, and professor of piano and the history of music in several national conservatories, among which is the Regional Conservatory of Algarve Maria Campina (CRAMC). He is currently Vice President and Professor of Piano at the Academia de Música in Tavira and also professor of piano and harmony at the Instituto Superior Dom Afonso III (INUAF) in Loulé. Luís Conceição has performed in numerous national and international concert halls, either as soloist or in chamber or orchestral groups.

Luís Conceição has also composed more than 200 pieces, and has recorded four CDs of his own work.His musical style is characterised by the merging of ethnic music, jazz and classical music and his current interests are in the symbiosis of music, poetry and film.

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Lynne Booker, along with her husband Peter, founded the Algarve History Association.