Vianna da Motta
Vianna da Motta was born on São Tomé island, a Portuguese territory at the time where his father, also a great musician, had opened a pharmacy. Moving with his family to Continental Portugal, he settled in Colares, near Sintra, where he soon showed his unusual skills in music, and in playing and composing works for the piano. In Berlin he had lessons from Xaver Scharwenka and Philipp Scharwenka before studying with Franz Liszt at Weimar in 1885 and with Hans von Bülow two years later. His professional career began in 1886 and continued uninterruptedly until 1945. He made his first European tour in 1888, accompanying violinist Pablo Sarasate in Copenhagen and Helsinki and violinist Tivadar Nachez in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Vianna da Motta made his first American tour in 1892, the year he visited New York and where he met Ferruccio Busoni, and played for the first time in Brazil in 1896, on a tour with the violinist Bernardo Moreira de Sá. He returned several times to South America, having been applauded in his recitals in Buenos Aires, one of the cities where he performed more often in public. He was also a composer, including orchestral works (one of them a symphony) as well as piano pieces. On 25 October 1906, Motta recorded ten piano rolls for Welte-Mignon including three of his own compositions. He was Director of the Lisbon Conservatory from 1919 to 1938. Amongst his pupils there was the pianist Sequeira Costa.