Cândido Lima

From Unearthing The Music

Cândido Lima presenting his work "OCEANOS" at OUT.FEST 2018. Photo by: Andreia Carvalho


Born in Viana do Castelo, Portugal in 1939, Cândido Lima is a Portuguese composer, known for his work in electroacoustic and computer music (he is considered to be the first Portuguese composer to explore these fields and to combine them with an orchestra), as well as a teacher and researcher, as a writer and as a radio and TV director.

He began his musical studies first in Braga (Piano and Composition), and then in the Porto and Lisbon Conservatories. Later, he also obtained a degree in Philosophy in Braga and a PhD in Aesthetics from the University of Paris with a dissertation on “Identity and Alterity in Musical Composition”. Along the way he also attended courses with figures such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis and Gérard Frémy, along with electronic and computer music courses at the University of Vincennes, University of Panthéon-Sorbonne, CEMAMu and IRCAM.

During the Portuguese dictatorship period (1926 - 1974) period Cândido Lima completed his military service in Bolama Island, Guinea-Bissau, to where he managed to take a piano in order to continue composing and performing. There he taught music to local youths and composed some of the songs which were later performed in Portugal and included in the 2000 book “Canções para a juventude: Canto e Piano” (“Songs for Youth: Choir and Piano”). Afterwards he taught in and directed the Porto and Braga Music Conservatories.

In 1973 he founded the “Grupo Música Nova” (New Music Group), which sought to present work from Portuguese and classic composers in concerts, radio and TV, and after the 1974 revolution he became active in television and radio, creating series such as “Sons e Mitos”, “Fronteiras da Música”, “No Ventre da Música”, where he presented music from modernist and avant-garde composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, Iannis Xenakis, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

As a composer, he has written pieces for orchestras and smaller groups, and a myriad instruments from the classical to the new (electroacoustics and computers, which he pioneered in Portugal, such as in “Oceanos”). Some of these works have also integrated audiovisual components.

Published books

  • (1974) A música e o homem na reforma do ensino: da antiguidade à vanguarda.
  • (1981) Xenakis et la Pédagogie, ou les Mythes.
  • (1981) Perspectivas do Ensino da Composição em Portugal
  • (1983) Os arquétipos na Composição Musical (com conceitos da filosofia e ciências)
  • (2000) Canções para a juventude: Canto e piano.
  • (2003) Segredos e Origens da Música Portuguesa Contemporânea - Música em som e imagem.


Cândido de Lima's music has been featured on the following records:

  • (1992) Cândido Lima Sand Automata - Legends of Neptune - Oceans
  • (1996) Música Portuguesa - Séc. XX Obras Encomendadas pela Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos
  • (1996) Album de Colien Musica Española y Portuguesa del Siglo XX Obras Breves para Piano Ananda Sukarlan
  • (1996) Loik Coro dos Pequenos Cantores da Academia de Amadores de Música Direcção de Paula Coimbra
  • (1997) Magia da Música
  • (1998) Maria José Souza Guedes Cândido Lima Casella Beethoven Franck
  • (1998) Luís Meireles Flauta Contemporânea Portuguesa
  • (1999) Rai Timor
  • (1999) Timor Loro Sae e a Esperança no Percurso da Paz
  • (2001) Vozes à Luz Aquiris Memorabilis Cândido Lima Obras Encomendadas pela Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos
  • (2002) Compositores do Porto do Séc. XX Canto e Piano
  • (2003) Antologia de Música Electrónica Portuguesa
  • (2003) Momentos-Memórias II
  • (2006) Festival Internacional de Música da Póvoa de Varzim Cândido Lima Isabel Soveral Fernando C. Lapa Sérgio Azevedo
  • (2007) Nancy Lee Harper | Música Portuguesa para piano, Vol. 2
  • (2010) Nuno Pinto Clarinete Solo
  • (2011) Nuno Pinto portuguese music clarinet & electronics
  • (2012) Suzanna Lidegran portuguese music for violin
  • (2013) Para além das árvores
  • (2013) Numérica
  • (2014) Fados - Compositores - Alexandre Delgado, Cândido Lima, Sara Carvalho, João Pedro Oliveira, Ângela Lopes, Rui Penha, Carlos Marecos - Performa Ensemble
  • (2014) 2014 IAMIC Concert
  • (2014) Sond'Ar-te Electric Ensemble Portuguese Chamber Works of the XXI
  • (2014) CADAVRES EXQUIS Portuguese composers of the 21st century
  • (2015) Borealis Ensemble . Música nova para instrumentos antigos (II)
  • (2015) EAW 2015 First International Congress of Electroacoustic Music Aveiro . Portugal
  • (2015) Oceânides

Related Content

Cândido Lima interview (2018)