Fernando Lopes-Graça


Born in Tomar, Fernando Lopes-Graça (1906-1994) was educated at the Portuguese National Conservatory and became one of the most famous contemporary composers and musicians in the country. He worked for the magazine Presença before leaving for the Sorbonne (Paris) in 1936, where he studied musicology. He returned to Portugal in 1939 to start a music project based on the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements of Portuguese folklore. In addition to being a composer, Lopes-Graça also distinguished himself as a lecturer, critic, publicist, organizer and conductor of popular choirs. In 1942, he founded an organization of modern music concerts called "Sonata", and the magazine Gazeta musical, in 1951. He won the Musical Culture Circle Composition Award in 1940, 1942, 1944 and 1952. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party and strenuously opposed the Estado Novo and its leader António de Oliveira Salazar.