Álvaro Salazar

From Unearthing The Music

Álvaro Salazar. Photo by Perseu Mandillo, sourced from the Portuguese Music Research & Information Centre – MIC.PT

Álvaro Salazar is a Portuguese composer, conductor, teacher and music critic.


Álvaro Salazar was born in 1938 in Porto, where he started the musical studies he would later conclude in Lisbon’s National Conservatory. In 1962 he graduated in Law from Lisbon University (class of 1957/62) and would later begin a diplomatic career that he abandoned in 1972. He has since then dedicated himself exclusively to music.

He was a Composition and Ensemble Music (20th century) lecturer at the Music School of the National Conservatory and taught Introduction to Electroacoustic Music, 20th Century Music History and Aesthetics at the Porto and Lisbon Higher Schools of Music. His masters outside Portugal were Gilbert Amy (Analysis), Hans Swarowsky and Pierre Dervaux (Orchestra Conduction). As a Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation scholarship holder he attended GRM’s Electroacoustic Music Internship in Paris. He was unanimously awarded the highest grade in the final exams of the conduction course at the École Normale of Paris. In 1978 he founded the Music Workshop, a group dedicated to the study and promotion of 20th century music and of which he is the artistic director. He conducted the most important Portuguese orchestras and also performed as a conductor in Spain, Colombia, France, Germany and Italy. He was responsible for performing for the first time in Portugal and abroad pieces from such significant composers as Janácek, Ives, Webern, Villa-Lobos, Varèse, Eisler, Dessau, Kurt Weill, Feldman, Ligeti, Georgescu, Láng, Finnissy, Acilú, Barce, Olavide, Marco, etc.

As a composer, public speaker and jury member of composition competitions he participated in several courses and international festivals (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland). He was also present as an invited critic at the festivals of Royan, East Berlin and Warsaw. He regularly collaborates in the Gulbenkian Contemporary Music Meetings and between 1979 and 1985 was the main conductor of the Chamber Group of Estoril Festival. He was awarded the Golden Merit Medal of Porto’s City Council for the services rendered. He is presently the president of the Portuguese Music Council and a member of the Directing Board of the Portuguese Authors Society.


  • Oporto Municipality Merit Medal
  • Almada Award (2004)


  • 1996 - Música Portuguesa - Séc. XX Obras Encomendadas pela Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos
  • 1996 - Cecilia Colien Honneger - Album de Colien
  • 1999 - Sofia Lourenço - Compositores Portugueses Contemporâneos
  • 2000 - Cecilia Colien Honneger - Album de Colien - Música Portuguesa e Espanhola do Século XX para Poesia Feminina Antiga e Medieval
  • 2008 - Dual - Homenagem a Álvaro Salazar Monika Duarte Streitová [flauta] | Sofia Lourenço [piano]
  • 2008 - Fugit Irreparabile Tempus - Álvaro Salazar Solistas e Grupo de Câmara da Oficina Musical
  • 2014 - Álvaro Salazar - Estudos Incomunicantes I/A

Related Content

  • A History of Electroacoustic Music in Portugal
  • Interview with Filipe Pires

External Links


Source (text, image and other data): Portuguese Music Research & Information Centre – MIC.PT