Florinda Santos

29 AUG 1907 - 04 FEB 2005

A revered figure in the musical world, pianist Florinda Santos richly deserves the homage dedicated to her since 1994 by the S. João da Madeira Academy of Music in the form of the Florinda Santos Piano Competition. This homage is paid with gratitude in return for her lesson of life, love through music, art and culture in general, hard work and strong personality - qualities self evident in her magnificent recordings, which are, along with our memories, her legacy.

Born in Lisbon, she studied at the Conservatory of that city, under professors Marcos Garin (Piano), Tomás Borba (Composition) and Luís de Freitas Branco (Musical Aesthetics).

At 20 years of age she was awarded the Conservatory first prize in piano, and the Lisbon Beethoven prize, and at 22, after a series of public auditions was appointed professor(a) of piano at the same institution. She later had the opportunity to study further with Alfred Cortot and Emil von Sauer, in Paris and Vienna.

She married diplomat João de Lucena, thus a great many of the events of her artistic career took place outside Portugal. Her recitals were inumerable, as well as her collaboration with soloists, and with national and international orchestras, under the baton of maestros such as Pedro Freitas de Branco, Frederico de Freitas, Eduardo Toldrá, Henrique Casais, Lamotte de Grignon, Anovazzi, Hans von Benda, and many others, both in Europe and on the continent.

Of her many activities, her interpretation course stands out, which included performances of the complete sonatas of Beethoven. This took place in Pontevedra (Spain) and was later also presented at the National Conservatory of Lisbon, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the composer's death. There were also broadcasts on national radio of 'Ibérica' by Albeniz, and the sonatas of Schubert.