From Unearthing The Music
Armando Santiago is a Portuguese/Canadian composer, conductor, teacher and administrator, born in Lisbon on the 18th June 1932 and naturalized Canadian in 1972.
Armando Santiago attended the Lisbon Conservatory where he studied singing, piano and cello, and where he won the first prize in music history in 1954, the first prize in composition in 1960. After he had studied singing and piano he took lessons in conducting with Hans Münch in Lisbon and Franco Ferrara in Siena. In 1960 he went to Paris to study the techniques of musique concrète with Pierre Schaeffer in the research service of the ORTF. On grants from the governments of Portugal and Italy he worked privately from 1962 to 1964 in Rome with Boris Porena and with Goffredo Petrassi at the Accademia Santa Cecilia, obtaining a diploma for advanced studies in composition.
Later, he taught theory and composition and conducted orchestra classes in Lisbon. Arriving in Quebec in 1968, Santiago became a teacher at the Conservatoire de Trois-Rivières and directed it from 1974 to 1978. During the 1977-8 season, he conducted the CBC Quebec Chamber Orchestra in a concert of his own works. He has also conducted orchestras in Portugal, and was guest conductor of the Trois-Rivières Symphony Orchestra and of the Schloss Pommersfelden Collegium Musicum SO in West Germany in the summer of 1984.
Among other pieces, Santiago has composed a Suite for bassoon and piano (1960), Soneto de Camões for baritone and string orchestra (1966), Requies for male choir and 25 instruments (1979-83), Undecassônia (1975) and Trame (1985-9) for orchestra, and works for various vocal and/or instrumental groupings such as Sinfonia (1966, written for the JM), Sonata 1968 (commissioned by the University of Lisbon), Simetrias (1970), Prismes (1970), Heterogenia-Movimento per 32 solisti (1971, commissioned by the Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon), and Musique pour quatre (1988).
In 1962 he wrote the score for Ernesto de Sousa's film Dom Roberto. In 1978 Santiago began teaching composition at the CMQ, where he was director from 1978 to 1985. His pupils have included Pierre-Michel Bédard and Gilles Bellemare.