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The piano will be king on summer evenings in the Palaces of Sintra

17 Jun 2024

At the beginning of summer, the magical sound of the piano will accompany nightfall in the National Palaces of Sintra and Queluz. The new Piano Cycle in the Palaces of Sintra, directed by musicologist Bruno Caseirão, opens with a programme of six recitals paying homage to the virtuoso pianist and musician Viana da Mota, whose life and work were closely linked to Sintra and the Portuguese Royal Family. Placing the great Portuguese pianists in dialogue with a new generation that is now beginning to assert itself, the stage will feature João Xavier, Marta Menezes, Pedro Burmester, António Rosado, Luísa Tender and Artur Pizarro. The cycle takes place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the first two weekends of July (5th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 13th and 14th), always at 7pm, either in the Swan Room of the National Palace of Sintra or in the Throne Room of the National Palace of Queluz. While these are historic and intensely lived-in spaces, including on a musical level, they are also intimate and offer great acoustic quality, providing a dream setting for a summer's evening.


The cycle kicks off on 5 July at the National Palace of Sintra with João Xavier. A promising pianist from the new generation of Portuguese pianists who has won several awards and given numerous solo recitals and concerts, he will play works by Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin, emblematic composers of the first wave of Romanticism.


On 6 July, the Swan Room will host Marta Menezes, whose solid career has been dedicated to promoting the Portuguese piano repertoire both at home and abroad. On this occasion she will present a programme centred on notable Iberian composers such as Antonio Soler, Carlos Seixas, Viana da Mota, Enrique Granados, and Frederico Mompou. The rarely heard Sonata by Artur Santos is also part of the recital programme.


The first weekend of the cycle closes with a recital by renowned pianist Pedro Burmester in the Throne Room of the National Palace of Queluz on 7 July. A pupil of Helena Sá e Costa and Sequeira Costa, Burmester brings together the two great disciples of Viana da Mota and the school of piano he founded. On this evening, Burmester revisits Bach's Goldberg Variations, an essential element of the keyboard repertoire that offers great technical and musical challenges only appropriate for musicians of true excellence.


Opening the second weekend of the cycle on 12 July at the same room is António Rosado, a pianist of internationally recognised talent. In line with his taste for diversity, his eclectic programme will feature Claude Debussy's Suite bergamasque, Sergei Rachmaninoff's monumental Second Sonata Op.36, and works by Viana da Mota and Franz Liszt.


On 13 July, the sounds of the piano return to the Swan Room of the National Palace of Sintra, this time at the hands of Luísa Tender from Porto. Trained in the cities of Porto, Los Angeles, London and Paris, she also dedicates herself to teaching and research. The centrepiece of this recital is the full performance of Chopin's four ballades, preceded by a sonata by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach's Italian Concerto.


The first edition of the Piano Cycle in the Palaces of Sintra ends on 14 July at the National Palace of Queluz with Artur Pizarro, a pupil of Sequeira Costa, who in turn studied with Viana da Mota. He brings to the splendid Throne Room a programme based on a truly Latin atmosphere of a summer's evening, combining the universes of Argentina with Carlos Guastavino and Alberto Ginastera; Italy with Gian Francesco Malipiero and Mario Castenuovo-Tedesco; and France with Gabriel Fauré.


Tickets are now on sale online at the Parques de Sintra website ( Recitals at the National Palace of Sintra cost €14 for young people (6-17) and €18 for adults (18+), while recitals at the National Palace of Queluz cost €18 for young people and €22 for adults. Tickets for all six recitals in the cycle are available for €90.


On recital days, guided tours of the palace in question will be offered from 5.30pm and last approximately 75 minutes. Tickets can also be purchased online.


The Piano Cycle in the Palaces of Sintra is organised by Parques de Sintra and directed by musicologist Bruno Caseirão. The event is supported by Antena 2.

WEB Palacio Nacional De Queluz Sala Do Trono Piano3©Luisduarte