Pedro Caldeira Cabral - Biography
Pedro Caldeira Cabral (born 1950 in Lisbon) is an internationally acknowledged Portuguese composer and musician, who plays professionally several string and wind instruments. His main instrument is the Portuguese guitar with which he achieved a high level of virtuosity and for which he has substantially broadened the repertoire and playing technique . He has done extensive research on ancient Iberian music, created the first "centro de estudos de musica antiga" in Portugal and founded and directed several well-known music ensembles specialized in the interpretation of Portuguese and Spanish ancient music, like " La Batalha" and "Concerto Atlantico".
As a child, he studied the Portuguese and classical guitars and the recorder. Later he studied music theory, counterpoint and harmony with Professor Artur Santos of the National Music Conservatory of Lisbon. In 1970 he began studying the lute,the viols and other early music string and wind instruments.
He founded and directed the early music groups 'La Batalla' and 'Concerto Atlântico', specialized in the performance of Medieval and Renaissance music on period instruments. As a composer, Pedro has developed a very individual style founded on the solo guitar tradition, incorporating original techniques and elements gathered from his study of the traditional instruments of the art and popular forms within the Mediterranean musical heritage. As a performer he has expanded the solo repertoire of the Portuguese guitar with transcriptions of works by J.S.Bach, S.L.Weiss, D.Scarlatti, Seixas, S.de Murcia, R.de Visée and many others, as well as given first performances of original pieces by other contemporary composers.
He has researched in the field of traditional music (musical organology) and collaborated with Dr. Ernesto Veiga de Oliveira on the second and third editions of the book “Portuguese Traditional Musical Instruments”, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 1982 and 2000. In the same area he made the complete inventory and organological classification of Michel Giacometti’s collection in the Music Museum of Cascais. He composed original music for the theater, cinema, TV series and ballet and since 1969, toured intensively as a Portuguese guitar player in international music festivals in Europe, Asia and the U.S.
He was responsible for the artistic direction of the International Portuguese Guitar Festival at World Expo 98, held in Lisbon. Between 2001 and 2009 he was he artistic director of the Medieval Music Festival of Carrazeda de Ansiães. Portugal. Since 2006 he produces and directs the Festival “Som das Musas” in Vila Flor, Portugal. In 2007 the first international conference 'Encontros Internationais de Guitarra Portuguesa' at Coimbra was started on his initiative.
His book, “The Portuguese Guitar”, Ediclube, Lisbon 1999, is the first monography on this national instrument’s origins and historical' evolution, iconography, organological study and repertoire. He has appeared in television programs for following networks: RTP (Portugal), WDR, ZDF and NDR (Germany), BBC and Granada TV (UK), ORTF (France), VPRO (Holland), TV Globo and TV Cultura de São Paulo (Brazil).
- 'Guitarras de Portugal', Tecla (1971),
- 'Encontros', Orfeu (1982),
- 'A Guitarra nos Salões do Século XVIII', Orfeu (1983),
- 'Pedro Caldeira Cabral', EMI (1985), 'Duas Faces', EMI (1987),
- 'Guitarra Portuguesa', GHA (1991),
- 'Momentos da Guitarra', Fenn Music (1992),
- 'Variações', World Network/WDR (1993),
- 'Música de Guitarra Inglesa', BMG/RCA Classics (1998),
- Guitarra Diversa, Mastermix, 2004.
- 'Memórias da Guitarra Portuguesa' Tradisom, 2003, reeditada 2010
- As Madeiras e os Sons, in 'As Idades da Madeira', Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional, Lisboa, 1997
- A Guitarra Portuguesa, Ediclube, Amadora, 1999
- in Instrumentos Musicais Populares Portugueses, de Ernesto Veiga de Oliveira, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa, 1982 and 2000.
- The Portuguese Guitar, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Lisboa, 2000
- A Construção da Viola Campaniça, in 'A Viola Campaniça' de José Alberto Sardinha, Tradisom, Vila Verde, 2001.
- À Descoberta da Guitarra Portuguesa, C. M. Santo Tirso, Museu Abade de Pedrosa, 2002
- A Guitarra Portuguesa, in 'Revista CAIS nº 80', 2003.
- Michel Giacometti, Uma colecção instrumental in 'Michel Giacometti, Caminho para um Museu', C.M. de Cascais, 2004
- Den portugisiska gitarren, in 'Musiken som foddes bortom haven' by Thomas Nydhal, Artea Forlag, Estocolmo, Suécia, 2006
- A Guitarra Portuguesa, in 'As Idades do Som', Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional, Lisboa, 2006
- A Viola Popular em Portugal, in 'As Idades do Som', Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional', Lisboa, 2006
- Sonhar um Som Português, in 'Sonho português', Egoísta, nº 28, Estoril-Sol, S.A., Lisboa, 2006.
- The Lute in Europe, Lutes, Guitars, Mandolins and Citterns, The Lute Corner, 2011