Portuguese American Journal

Vasco Dantas: Piano recital debut at Carnegie Hall – New York, NY

Portuguese pianist Vasco Dantas makes his New York debut in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, on Sunday November 17 at 2:00pm.

Winner of more than 50 international awards, Vasco Dantas’ recent awards include Winner of Senior Grand Prix at Valletta International Piano Competition (Malta, 2017); 1st prize at Estoril Lisbon Music Competition (2015); 1st prize at the “Santa Piano” Cecilia ”of Porto (2011); Richard Wagner Circle Prize (Germany, 2016) and” Special Prize “at Concours International Piano Son Altesse Royale La Princesse Lalla Meryem (Morocco, 2016) among many other awards and distinctions.

Praised for his “romantic and musical heart,” by Aachener Zeitung, Vasco Dantas touring schedule frequently takes him across Europe, Asia, and South America for hundreds of musical events in United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Spain, France and Greece.

At the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall Hall, November 17, the solo recital includes preludes by Claude Debussy and rarely heard works by Portuguese impressionist composer Luis de Freitas-Branco. The program includes Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, Book I of Claude Debussy’s Preludes.

Freitas Branco (1890-1955) was a preeminent figure in Portuguese music in the first half of the twentieth century. His “10 Prelúdios” are unquestionably influenced by works by Debussy, whom he met in Paris in the 1910s. 

“I am thrilled to share the music of Luís Freitas Branco with New York City! While not widely known outside of Portugal, he is one of the most significant voices in 20th century concert music in Portugal, and certainly has been an influence on my own artistry,” Vasco Dantas stated.

Vasco Dantas started to learn the piano with 4 years old. He made his first public concert and performed live for the Portuguese National TV (RTP1) two years later.  Since the age of 7, Vasco Dantas has also been studying the violin with Prof. José Paulo Jesus. He achieved distinction as a violinist in the Momentum Perpetuum Orchestra, in the “Official Youth Orchestra of Portuguese Music Conservatories” (OJCOM) and as concertmaster in the Lisbon Metropolitan Young Orchestra. In 2000, he was admitted with honors at Porto Music Conservatory, where he concluded his studies with the Swedish Prof. Rosgard Lingardson, with the highest marks.

In 2011, Vasco Dantas made his piano recital debut in the renowned “Sala Suggia” at Porto Casa da Música. He has also performed solo with Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto, Orquestra Sinfónica do Espírito Santo, Orquestra do Norte, has worked with conductors such as Martin André, Victor Toro, Günter Neuhold, Nicholas Kok and Pedro Neves. 

He has actively participated in a great number of piano masterclasses with many well-known professors such as Paul Badura-Skoda, Peter Donohoe, Boris Berman, Artur Pizarro, John Lill, Philippe Cassard, Álvaro Teixeira Lopes, Luiz de Moura Castro, Andrew Ball, Pedro Burmester, Fausto Neves, Ian Jones, Betty Haag-Kuhnke, Cristina Ortiz, and Sergei Covalenco.

Born in Porto in 1992, Vasco Dantas has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with “Distinction” by the London Royal College of Music, with the Russian Prof. Dmitri Alexeev and the South-African Niel Immelman, followed by a Master’s Degree in Performance under the guidance of the German Prof. Heribert Koch at University of Münster, in Germany. He has been invited to record for Galician Radio and KNS Classical.

Highlights of Vasco Dantas’ 2019-20 season included performances with the Banda Sinfónica Portuguesa and Lisbon Gulbenkian Orchestra, solo recitals at Ciclo de Concertos do Palácio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal and Piano on the Rocks International Festival in Sedona, Arizona, and the release of a new solo CD, “Delikatessen,” on the ARS Produktion label featuring Lieder by Schumann, transcribed for solo piano by Carl Reinecke, as well as “Fados” by three Portuguese composers: Rey Colaço, Óscar da Silva, and Eduardo Burnay.

Learn more about this virtuoso young performer in this Insider Interview 

Tickets $35-$45 are available at CarnegieHall.org, CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800, or at the Box Office at 57th and Seventh.

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