Two music teachers are hoping to strike the right note for Lagos with the 2nd edition of the Infante D. Henrique Music Festival and Competition. These musical extravaganzas, starting in November, aim to encourage young musicians while bringing performing arts and cultural education to the municipality.
The Associação Impacto Ímpar is based in Lagos and is the brainchild of husband and wife team Gonçalo Duarte and Ana Nunes, both musicians (a guitarist and pianist, respectively). Both are teachers at the EBS da Bemposta in Portimão, which is part of a group of schools offering specialist artistic education in music and performing arts courses.
While working with artistic young people from the community, Gonçalo and Ana saw the need to establish an association to stimulate, value and develop a taste for music, particularly classical music. Themain objectives of the musicfestival and competitionare to build self-confidence and contribute to the development of the socio-cultural and economic fabric of the region. This festival comprises different disciplines, with concerts, masterclasses, an international competition for young musicians and a musical marathon for young music students and professional musicians from all over the country.
In terms of the educational aspect, the renowned guitar duo Kontaxakis-Ivanovich will present a student concert. In 2007, Germany’s Westfalenpost described them as “… one of the greatest guitar duos in the world …” Their masterclass combines expert tuition with an opportunity for the students to perform on stage. It will take place at EBS da Bemposta and at Biblioteca Dr. Júlio Dantas from 17–19 November.
The International Competition for Young Musicians (held on 2 December) features music school students of string, wind, key and voice instruments from various regions of Portugal. Category D (up to 23 years old) includes university students from Portugal, Spain and France. Gonçalo tells me, “At the moment, there are only two competitions for piano and guitar in the Algarve, so I felt we needed a competition for all instruments and to switch the focus on the performance as well as the technique. It also motivates the students to practice and gives them something to aim for.”
Although it is a competition, the main objective is to stimulate a love of learning, skills development, peer learning and group participation. For category D), the prize will be 500€ while competition participants can attend the festival’s concerts free of charge. Registrations for the masterclasses and competition will be made available on social media and the website, and will be sent to schools offering artistic education.
Finally, on 3 December, the city of Lagos will provide a special day of cultural entertainment. The Gil Eanes Musical Marathon will be dedicated to Portuguese composers (Renaissance to the present day). Music students and professional musicians will perform works of classical/erudite Portuguese music on four stages from 10 am until 7 pm. In an attempt to stimulate the creation of a repertoire, Impacto Ímpar asked several Algarve composers for musical works to be premiered in the final phase of the marathon (accordion, classical guitar, Portuguese guitar, voice and piano), which will be performed by professional musicians.
The last moments of the musical marathon (6 pm–7 pm), in the Salão Nobre of the Hotel Vila Galé, will be broadcast via streaming through the social networks of our page, the Regional Directorate of Culture of the Algarve and the Municipality of Lagos.
This event will have the support of Câmara Municipal de Lagos, Antena 2, Direção Regional de Cultura do Algarve, Rede de Turismo do Algarve, o eminente Artista plástico João Sena (criação do LOGO), Agrupamento de Escolas Gil Eanes, Agrupamento de Escolas da Bemposta, Conservatório de Música de Loulé-Francisco Rosado, Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espetáculo, Correio de Lagos, Tomorrow magazine, Centro de Formação Rui Grácio, ZOO de Lagos e CCDT. Its main sponsor is the real estate agency Villas Key, in Lagos.
The second part of Ana and Gonçalo´s grand project is Cidade de Lagos and Sons ao Crepúsculo – (Cycle of Commented Concerts in Lagos). Their aim is to create a cultural program of classical music, in Lagos and its parishes, including Luz, Bensafrim, Barão de São João and Odiáxere. There will be a programme of classical music concerts, featuring several national musicians and the Algarve Camerata. “We aim to offer the local population regular performances and encourage participation with talks from the performers. We also hope to stimulate tourism in the high season and boost the municipality in the low season,” explains Gonçalo.
This musical initiative is another ambitious attempt by local residents and Câmara de Lagos to improve the cultural fabric of this region. It is sure to mean Lagos is alive with the sound of music this winter.
Main image: Laureates of the 1st Edition of the Competition
Upcoming 2023 Events
Until the end of the year, the public will be able to attend the following concerts as part of the Sons ao Crepsculo project:
November 12, 7 pm Igreja de S. Sebastião
A performance from the guitarist and professor at the Escola Superior de Música, António Jorge Gonçalves. He studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, where he won the First Prize for Guitar in the same year. In 1992, he recorded his first CD entitled XX Century Guitar Music.
November 18, 9 pm Igreja de S. Sebastião
Starring the renowned musicians and guitar Duo Kontaxakis-Ivanovich (Greece and Croatia); Michalis Kontaxakis and Dejan Ivanovich began their collaboration with the first recital in April 2004 (Athens).
November 19, 7 pm Igreja de S. Sebastião
23 November, 7 pm Lagos Cultural Center
Rem Urasin, solo piano
December 2, 9 pm Lagos Cultural Center
Piano and Singing concert with Rem Urasin, one of the most brilliant Russian pianists of his generation, winner of several international competitions.
December 16, 7 pm Igreja de Odiáxere
Portuguese Guitar and Classical Guitar duo
December 17, 7 pm Igreja de S. Sebastião