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(1902 - 1980)

Frederico de Freitas (Lisbon 1902–1980) was one of Portugal’s most prolific composers and conductors, equally at home in the popular musical field as he was in the symphonic concert world. His music owes a lot to Portuguese folklore, especially in a series of highly successful ballets. He was also very active as a conductor, having been the deputy music director of the National Radio Symphony in Lisbon for 34 years, and music director of the Oporto Symphony between 1949 and 1952.

De Freitas studied piano, violin and composition at Lisbon’s Conservatory from which he graduated, and while still a student he won the National Prize for Composition. He was the first Portuguese composer to explore bi-tonality, and was greatly interested in the Portuguese musical heritage, both popular and classical. His oeuvre encompasses a large range of forms and styles, and he was as much at home in the symphonic field as in that of chamber music or film scores. In addition to his work as a composer and conductor, he founded the Lisbon Choral Society—which premièred his Missa solemnis—and taught at the Centre for Gregorian Studies in Lisbon.

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