Filipe Pires

From Unearthing The Music

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

Filipe Pires (June 1934 - February 2015) was a Portuguese composer born in Lisbon but who later lived in Porto from 1960 until his death. He was the author of several vocal, instrumental and electroacoustic pieces in the chamber music, symphonic music, musical theatre and dance.

He started his career as a pianist right after the Portuguese Musical Youth awarded him a First Prize in 1950. Some years later he completed courses in Piano and Composition at Lisbon’s National Conservatory, where he was taught by Artur Santos, Lúcio Mendes and Croner de Vasconcellos, before continuing his studies in Hannover (Germany) and Salzburg (Austria) between 1957 and 1960 with a scholarship from the Institute of Higher Culture. Later he would also attend the Darmstadt summer courses between 1963 and 1965 with a Gulbenkian Foundation scholarship, being taught by Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and was also in a two year internship with Pierre Schaeffer in Paris dedicated to electroacoustic music.

After returning to Portugal in 1960, he was appointed Composition lecturer at Porto’s Music Conservatory and held the position for ten years. During this time he also lectured at the Braga Regional Conservatory and at the Vila da Feira Music Academy, and later he taught at the Lisbon Conservatory, where he introduced the Electroacoustics subject. He was also later a part of the founding team of ESMAE (School of Music and Performing Arts) in Porto.

Between 1975 and 1979 Filipe Pires returned to Paris as a Music Specialist with the UNESCO International Secretariat. As president of this institution he was sent on several official missions to East European countries, to Africa and to Latin America. He has also travelled to Russia and the USA as either as a representative of several national agencies or in order to present his pieces. He won awards at international composition competitions such as Naples, Cologne and Liége, as well as the National Calouste Gulbenkian Award in 1968 for his choral-symphonic piece Portugaliae Genesis.

Much of his work is edited in Portugal, Italy and Germany by the National Culture Department and the labels Numérica and Educo. In Portugal Filipe Pires has held several positions, such as President of the Portuguese Musical Youth, member of the UNESCO National Committee, Director of the Paços de Brandão Music Academy, Vice-President of the Portuguese Authors Society, member of the Artistic Council at the Cooperative “Sinfonia” and councillor at the commission responsible for establishing Porto’s Higher School of Music, where he lectured in Composition. In 1997 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Porto National Orchestra, a position he held for two years.


  • Maria Clodes ao Piano Interpreta Composições Clássicas Portuguesas. 1960 - Sinter
  • Music of Portugal. 1974 - Educo
  • Music of Portugal. 1978 - Educo
  • Camões na Música Portuguesa Contemporânea. 1980 - Poesia e Música
  • Filipe Pires: Canto Ecuménico - Litania - Homo Sapiens. 1980 - Imavox
  • Filipe Pires: Canções Corais. 1986 - Portugalsom
  • Filipe Pires: Portugaliae Genesis - Sintra - Akronos. 1990 - Portugalsom
  • Iberic Impressionist Piano Works. 1991 - Pavane Records
  • Johannes Brahms L. - Filipe Pires - Ludwig van Beethoven - Helena Rocha v. Oertze. 1994 - Nomos
  • Filipe Pires: Songs (Gulbenkian Choir - Jorge Matta). 1996 - Portugalsom / Strauss
  • Música Portuguesa - Séc. XX: Obras Encomendadas pela Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos. 1996 - Numérica
  • Filipe Pires: Canto Ecuménico - Litania - Homo Sapiens. 1997 - Portugalsom / Strauss
  • Flauta Contemporânea Portuguesa (Luís Meireles). 1998 - Numérica
  • Coro de Câmara de Lisboa Canções Populares Portuguesas. 1998 - Numérica
  • Música Portuguesa Séc. XX (Álvaro Teixeira Lopes - José Pereira de Sousa). 1998 - Numérica
  • Colien: Música Portuguesa e Espanhola do Século XX para Poesia Feminina Antiga e Medieval. 1998 - Cecilia Colien Honneger
  • Sofia Lourenço: Compositores Portugueses Contemporâneos. 1999 - Numérica
  • Henri Bok: Worlds of Bass Clarinet. 1999 - Globe
  • Música Portuguesa Para Piano - Anos 90 (Madalena Soveral). 2001 - Numérica
  • [Figurações]. 2001 - Ahead Music
  • Compositores do Porto do Séc. XX Canto e Piano. 2002 - Fermata
  • Antologia de Música Electrónica Portuguesa. 2003 - Plancton Music
  • Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa ao vivo no CCB (Dir. Carlos Franco). 2004 - JORSOM
  • Nancy Lee Harper | Música Portuguesa para piano, Vol. 2. 2007 - Numérica Produções Multimédia, LDA
  • Filipe Pires: Canto Ecuménico. 2016 - Grama

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