Constança Capdeville

Composer, pianist and percussionist, Constança Capdeville's musical theatre is a combination of music with scenical elements, which she put into practice with the various music groups she founded. She started her musical studies in Barcelona before permanently establishing herself in Portugal after 1951 due to the social and political circumstances that emerged from the Spanish Civil War. She carried on her higher studies at Lisbon's National Music Conservatory, where she took piano classes with Varela Cid and composition classes with Jorge Croner de Vasconcellos. She graduated in ancient music interpretation (transcription, scoring, clavichord, piano accompaniment) by attending Macário Santiago Kastner's classes. She participated in some musicology projects with Gulbenkian, the National Library and the Ajuda Library. In the summer of 1962 she held a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and took composition classes in Galicia with Philip Jarnach. This led to the piece Variações sobre o nome de Stravinski (Variations on Stravinski's name), which earned her the National Conservatory's Composition Prize. Countless seminars and improvement courses led to the presentation of her works in national and international festivals. She followed closely the performance of Lisbon University Orchestra, in which she participated many times as a composer and interpreter. She was also a member of Lisbon's Minstrels, of the chamber group Convivium Musicum and of Lisbon Contemporary Music Group. In 1969, after a request from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, she participated for the first time in Gulbenkian's Music Festival, which allowed her to follow her own style, and became a regular eversince. She was a forerunner in the writing of musical theatre pieces in Portugal, a genre to which she dedicated herself more and more, especially after 1980 with the group ColecViva, founded and directed by her. She also distinguished herself in the teaching of composition, namely at Santa Cecília's Music Academy, Lisbon's Higher School of Music and the Musical Sciences Department of Lisbon's Universidade Nova. In 1992 she was awarded the posthumous honourable state title Grau de Comendador da Ordem de Santiago de Espada. (adapted from text in PMIC)

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