Manuela Toscano is assistant professor at the Departamento de Ciências Musicais – Universidade Nova de Lisboa since 1990. Her musicological education has taken place at the Departamento de Ciências Musicais of the same University, where she graduated (1987) and completed her PhD (2002). In 2005 she founded the Music and Literature Seminar (Master) in this Department, devoted to advanced studies on Lied, mélodie and instrumental music with literary or mythical references. In CESEM she is a member of the Study Group Teoria Crítica e Comunicação and she also coordinates the Thematic Line of Music and Literature (LTML) since 2015. She has lectured in the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa (1988-1990).
Manuela Toscano is author of the book Maneirismo inquieto. Os Responsórios de Semana Santa de Carlo Gesualdo (INCM, 2007, 3vols.). She is a translator and also author of book chapters. Her articles are published in Portuguese and in international peer-reviewed periodicals. Her essays and papers address the area of Aesthetics, Sacred Music, Rhetorics, as well as Word, Music and Arts Studies. She is actually interested in Simbolism and Art Nouveau in francophone cultures, under an aesthetic, analytical, transmedial perspective, as well as in Performance Studies with a philosophical and phenomenological approach.
In 1982 she completed her musical education at the Conservatório Nacional de Música de Lisboa, where she obtained the Diploma of the Curso Superior de Piano. She was piano student of Tania Achot and participated in piano masterclasses by Helena de Sá e Costa, Tatjana Nikolaewa and Eric Heidsieck. In 1981 she obtained the Brevet – Degré Supérieur de Piano du Conservatoire Européen de Paris after having further training with Yvonne Léfébure.
As a pianist she participated in recitals of Lied, mélodie and canção (1992-2003). She recorded romantic repertoire (RDP) as soloist. As member of the Gulbenkian Choir (1975-2017), she sung a large repertoire of sacred and profane music from Renaissance to our present days, including music for cinema. Some recordings of such performances received international disc awards.
2012 – “ ‘Movement in space’: Listening to the Music of the Winds and Arabesques”, in International Debussy Symposium: Debussy Text and Idea, 12 e 13 April 2012, org.. Richard Langham Smith, Helen Abbott, London, IMR, Gresham College, Royal College of Music, Open University. Video url: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae0etSPhKBc>
2010 – “Música, vestígios da ausência. O despertar de Mnemosyne em Erinnerung de Mahler e Alte Liebe de Brahms”, in Act.20. Filologia, memória e esquecimento, Centro de Estudos Comparativos, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, org. Helena Buescu,Fernanda Mota Alves, Sofia Tavares, Ricardo Gil Soeiro, Danela Di Pasquale, Ribeirão, Ed. Húmus, pp. 275-302.
2008 – “Caos apparente e struttura dissimulata nei Responsori di Settimana Santa di Carlo Gesualdo”, in La Musica del Principe. Studi e prospettive per Carlo Gesualdo, Lucca, LIM, pp. 277 – 294. ISBN 978-88-7096-531-5.
2005 – “As vozes de Ya las sombras de la noche. Petrarquismo e música portuguesa no Séc. XVI e primeira metade do Séc. XVII”, in Petrarca 700 Anos, coord. e introd. Rita Marnoto, Coimbra, Instituto de Estudos Italianos, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra, pp. 273-340. ISBN:972-9038-81-3.
1999 – “Chemins vers une esthétique de l’inquiétude dans la musique de Gesualdo”, in International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, 1999, XXX, 1, pp. 27-53. ISSN 0351-5796.