José Valente


Considered one of the most innovative violists of his generation, José Valente continues to develop an intense musical activity defined by the irreverence, contemporaneity and virtuosity of his playing and composing. Since his return from New York, the awarded violist has been exploring the limits of his instrument through the symbiosis of diverse musical styles, rarely associated with the traditional repertoire for viola, establishing consequently a unique musical voice. After a decade away from his homeland, Portugal, a time in which he worked with several different musicians and styles such as the Acies Streichquartett (founding member), Dave Douglas, Paquito d’Rivera – who invited José to be soloist at the world famous Carnegie Hall –, Hank Roberts or Don Bryon, he continued to explore the combination of musical genres and artistic disciplines in both international projects: the Human Evolution project with Indian sitar player Shakir Khan and Spanish legendary pianist Alberto Conde; and national projects: Valente Maio duo with violinist Manuel Maio; Viola Popular with João Diogo Leitão playing the braguesa guitar and Tiago Manuel Soares playing Portuguese percussion and drums. Or within his research for his PhD in Contemporary Art at the Royal College for the Arts at the University of Coimbra that he finished by unanimous decision with distinction; and the continuing successful attempts to communicate with other art forms, such as painting, architecture, film and literature or poetry, revealed with projects such as PuLso (spoken word); the children’s show Os figos são para quem passa premiered and commissioned by São Luiz Theater; the commission and premiere of a Sonata for Viola and Empty Cube for the Empty Cube project, curated by João Silvério; or more recently the commission by MAAT – Museum for Art Architecture and Technology to compose a spoken word Opera with lyrics by Gonçalo M. Tavares, for an exhibit curated by Paulo Mendes. Since 2001 that José Valente plays with a Mezzoforte hybrid black viola and beautiful Alceste Bulfari's viola. By suggestions of his mother, he calls them "Diamante" and "Presença" respectively.

Albums from José Valente