Joly Braga Santos

Composer Joly Braga Santos was born in Lisbon, 1924. He studied violin and composition at the National Conservatory, where he was a student of Luís and Pedro de Freitas Branco. The latter was the main responsible for promoting his work around the world. During his youth, he took inspiration from Portuguese traditional music, namely folklore and Renaissance polyphony. These influences are clear in the first four symphonies he composed between his 22nd and his 27th years of age, which were almost immediately performed by the national radio broadcast Symphonic Orchestra. In 1948 he was a Higher Culture Institute scholarship holder, having then studied musicology and composition in Venice with Virgílio Mortari, Gioacchino Pasquali and Alceo Galliera. At that time he also attended the International Conduction Course with Hermann Scherchen, where he was a colleague of Luigi Nono, Bruno Maderna and Fernando Corrêa de Oliveira. Again in Portugal, Joly dedicated himself for a long period to orchestra conduction. He only started again to compose more regularly after 1960, having then written his fifth and sixth symphonies. Besides his vast musical legacy, Joly Braga Santos also had an intense activity as a music critic. He was a founding member of the Portuguese Musical Youth, lectured in Composition at Lisbon's National Conservatory, worked at the National Radio Broadcast Company's Musical Studies Cabinet, and was a conductor of the S. Carlos National Theatre Orchestra, of the Oporto Symphonic Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Portuguese radio broadcast Symphony Orchestra. He died in Lisbon in 1988. (adapted from text in PMIC)

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