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Our History

The Quarteto Contratempus was founded at ESMAE, in Porto, and has overcome academic barriers in order to bring the sublime art that music is to a wider audience.

It has an unusual formation, being composed by Soprano, Clarinet, Cello and Piano, thus representing the voice, the wind, the strings and the great orchestra, thus presenting the possibility of a wide range of colors made available by the contrasting tones of the instruments and making this one, a special formation. To this day, Quarteto has been dedicated to the interpretation of contemporary music, premiering of works by Portuguese composers.

Quarteto has performed in several concert halls in Portugal, Brazil and Spain, of those are worth highlighting the Teatro Helena Sá e Costa in Porto, the Faculdade de História e Hostal dos Reis Católicos em Santiago de Compostela, Verbum and Marco in Vigo, at the closing of the Xeracion festival 2000+9 and Via Stellae2010.

They were invited by composer Fernando Lapa to present his work Destinations (dedicated to this quartet) in a event in his honor in Braga at the D. Diogo de Sousa Museum.

Quarteto was invited to debut in Brazil works by Portuguese composers as part of the celebrations of the year of Portugal in Brazil. They performed in Rio de Janeiro representing Portugal in the classical music genre with the debut of the work “The dark silence of the rain” by Daniel Moreira and “Inner travel” by Sérgio Azevedo.

They started a new project of chamber comic opera. This project has the particularity of having the instrumentalists on stage as actors alongside the singers. The quartet has been affirmed by the innovation that it brings to the artistic world, with the creation of opera performance (namely on a small scale and with recurrent use of experimentation with new technologies).

Quarteto Contratempus premiered the comic opera “The quarrel of the crickets” by Fátima Fonte.

And in 2016, at the Campo Alegre Municipal Theater – Porto, the comic opera “The dietary dilemmas of a middle matrioska” by Nuno Côrte-Real, all with libretos and original music and purposely written for this formation. These operas were in circulation around the country with more than 15 performances. Due to its success, the show “The dietary dilemmas of a middle matrioska” will still be in circulation in 2020.

Quarteto premiered the comic opera “The Seven Women of Jeremiah Epicenter” by Jorge Prendas premiered in September at the Porto Municipal Theater – Campo Alegre. It is in “The Seven Women of Jeremiah Epicenter” that the multimedia component of the Quartet operas takes on a more central role and becomes a crucial element of their creations. In this case, the wearable interactive multimedia technology used (created in the laboratory context at FEUP) allows interpreters to manipulate sound and image in real time.

Following this show, the Quartet was distinguished with the 3rd National Prize for Creative Industries (promoted by the Super Bock / Serralves Group) and the BfK Prize (promoted by ANI – National Innovation Agency). That same year (in which it celebrates its 10th anniversary) Quarteto debuts “Variations from a Heart”, a creation that recreates some of the most emblematic repertoire of the Portuguese Popular Cancioneiro through contemporary vision.

The group’s most recent creation, the opera “Simplex”, premiered, a co-production with the Municipal Theater of Porto, which is now preparing to begin its national tour, with about 10 scheduled performances.

The components of the

The team