CLAUDIO CARNEYRO (1895 - 1963)
Born into a family of artists, and son of the painter António Carneyro, Claúdio Carneyro (1895–1963) was a composer of great sensitivity. After his violin and composition studies at the Porto Conservatory of Music, he continued his training in Paris, studying under Charles Widor and later Paul Dukas. His Prélude, Choral and Fugue for strings was performed in 1923 by the Concerts Colonne under the direction of Gabriel Pierné. In 1927, with a grant from the Portuguese government, he travelled to the United States where he came into contact with Charles Munch, Aaron Copland and Darius Milhaud. He was appointed Professor of Composition at the Porto Conservatory between 1930 and 1958, and elevated to principal in 1955. Deeply attached to his hometown of Porto, Claúdio Carneyro wrote remarkable compositions and his extensive choral work reflects his preference for polyphony and his profound knowledge of the music of J.S. Bach. He also composed instrumental music, through which he expressed a particular taste and curiosity for diverse types of musical writings: tonal, modal, chromatic, atonal and even dodecaphonic, as can be heard in his work Khroma for viola and orchestra. At the same time, he was influenced by French music from the 1920s and 1930s, which led him to develop his own musical language tinged with mysticism, sometimes with harmonically harsh colours, whilst remaining intimately linked to the rugged and misty landscape of his home town. Claúdio Carneyro was also greatly influenced by the melodies and rhythms of traditional Portuguese music.