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Major Accolade for Dr Pedro Faria Gomes

2 November 2020

Headshot of Pedro Faria Gomes

The Portuguese performing rights society Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores (SPA) have awarded the Prémio Autores 2020 in the category of classical music to Dr Pedro Faria Gomes’ Sonata, for violin and piano.

The prize, created in 2010, is awarded annually to a composer or performer whose work constitutes an outstanding contribution to classical music.

Faria’s Sonata was commissioned by the Dryads Duo, Carla Santos and Saul Picado, who premiered the piece at Cardiff University Concert Hall in April 2018. The duo later gave the Portuguese premiere of the piece in 2019 at the São Carlos National Theatre, and recorded it for a portrait album of Dr Faria’s chamber works, released earlier this year on the Naxos label.

Dr Faria said of the piece: “Sonata is inspired by the idea of arch form, and by how it mirrors human life. The piece draws inspiration from two twentieth-century works: Scott Fitzgerald’s short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Prokofiev’s Sonata No.1 for violin and piano. Recurring elements and varied repetition feature prominently between and within each of the four movements: there are ritornelli in the first and fourth, a repeating cantus firmus in the second, and palindromes in the third movement.”

Critics have praised the composition highly: Kathodik, based in Italy, wrote that the second movement ‘seduces with delicate melodies in which notes emerge, in filigree, as echoes of an imaginary folk music’. On the outer movements, they highlighted the ‘sense of unpredictability and suspense which have, nonetheless, its own—inscrutable but incontrovertible—logic’.

The SPA was founded in 1925 and is one of Portugal’s most established arts institutions. Dr Pedro Faria Gomes joins a select group of artists who have been distinguished with the Prémio Autores.

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