José Brandão was born in Porto and studied in this town with the pianist Helena de Sá e Costa. By the time he finished his Piano diploma at Porto Music Conservatoire he had already won a 2nd prize at the Portuguese Music Youth National Piano Competition. Having then moved to Lisbon, he graduated in Musicology at Nova University. A growing interest for the vocal literature with piano accompaniment took him to London where he studied with Graham Johnson. At the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he followed the Post-Graduate Piano Accompaniment Course, having been granted prizes for best accompanist at the John Ireland’95 and Schubert Lieder’96 competitions. He complemented his studies in vocal accompaniment with Paul Hamburger, Robin Bowman, Ruben Lifschitz and Martin Katz and attained a Master’s degree at Aveiro’s University, with the thesis The Songs of Filipe de Sousa.
He has been teaching at the National Conservatory’s Music School since 2000. He also taught for a short period at Lisbon Superior School of Music and at the National Academy for Orchestral Training. As a pianist he produced himself at Music Festivals in Royaumont, Estoril, Coimbra and Aveiro’s Festivais de Outono, as well as at the CCB (Dias da Música and series Bom Dia Música), Lille’s Opera House, Espinho Auditorium, etc. With the project The Keeper of Songs, together with his fellow colleague João Vasco, he has devised and accompanied an array of Song Recitals.
This study intends to provide a comprehensive perspective on the works for voice and piano of Filipe de Sousa (Maputo, 15/02/1927 — Lisboa, 22/11/2006). It presents a biographical sketch of the composer, supported by a chronogram where a diverse amount of information concerning his life and work is assembled, dealing with the multiple features that he assumed as a pianist, orchestra director, pedagogue, head of the music programs department of RTP, besides his composer activities. An exhaustive, even if not definitive, catalogue, of his artistic legacy, is also included. The main component of this dissertation is dedicated to a specific study of each song, focusing on its musical language aspects, and developing a relation with the respective poetical texts. The major part of the author’s creative activity in this domain is envisaged in our work.