Biography

Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

Manuela Gouveia was born in Porto, Portugal. Having undergone an education strongly characterized by a family environment where music occupied a privileged position, since very early she showed her talent for music, having given her first piano recital at the age of 5.
Edgar Willems

Edgar Willems

The basis of her musical training are the philosophical and pedagogical principles of Edgar Willems who took her as a pupil in order to demonstrate and introduce his “Method of musical introduction” in Portugal, at the beginning of the 50ies. From those days she also keeps the memories of listening to the trios and quartets of Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart performed in her paternal house, where chamber music was regularly performed.
First concert with orchestra

First concert with orchestra

She took up music and piano classes with Portugal's most renowned pianist and teacher of that time, Helena de Sá Costa, who – exceptionally – accepted her as a pupil at the age of 5. At the age of 12, she played for the first time with the Symphony orchestra of Oporto, her birthplace, under the conductor Silva Pereira. She obtained numerous First Prizes of piano at competitions of the Musical Youth and the Second International Prize of Young Musicians in Palma de Mallorca, at the age of 16.
Helena Sá Costa

Helena Sá Costa

In 1965, she obtained the Diploma of the higher Piano Course in the class of Professor Helena de Sá Costa at the Oporto Music Conservatory. At the same time and at the same Conservatory, she attended composition classes, obtaining the Diploma of Composition in the class of Prof. Luís Filipe Pires - one of the most remarkable current Portuguese composers.
Conrad Hansen

Conrad Hansen

Between 1967 e 1972, she attended the course of the German pianist and pedagogue Prof. Conrad Hansen, at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Hamburg (Germany) where she obtained her Diploma as a concert pianist. Through Helena de Sá Costa and Conrad Hansen, both former pupils of Edwin Fischer, Manuela Gouveia received the heritage of the School of the great pianists of the beginning of the XX. century. Thus she started to appreciate and know profoundly the work of J.S. Bach and L. v. Beethoven.
Recital, Gütersloh, 1981

Recital, Gütersloh, 1981

At the same time, she began her activity as a concert pianist. Throughout her career she gave innumerable concerts and recitals – as a soloist and with orchestra – in Portugal and abroad and made numerous recordings for Radio and Television. She attended interpretation courses with Karl Engel, Alfred Brendel, Jörg Demus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Vlado Perlemuter and Wilhelm Kempff, personalities who have marked her profoundly.

Manuela Gouveia is a laureate of numerous national and international competitions, among which the Palma de Mallorca International Competition, the “Guilhermina Suggia” Competition of Lisbon, the Luso-Spanish Competition of Oporto and the Luso-Brazilian Competition of Covilhã (Portugal).

She played with orchestra in Portugal and in Europe under the conductors Silva Pereira, Manuel Ivo Cruz, Álvaro Cassuto, Gunther Arglebe, A. Salazar, Ferreira Lobo, Marcel Dautremer, Henri Arends, E. Van Remoortel, Nicholas Harsanyi, Ulisses Waterlot, Jean Marc Burfin and Rudolf Baumgartner. Among those performances, her interpretation of the concerts of Bach and Mozart with the chamber orchestras "Festival Strings" and "Waterloo" under the conductors Rudolf Baumgartner and Ulisses Waterlot deserve a special mention.

She has a very broad repertory as a soloist and with orchestra – consisting of works ranging from the baroque to the contemporary.

She performs regularly with chamber music groupings, having played in duo and trio with, among others, Madalena Costa, Paulo Gaio Lima, Dominique Williencourt, Christoph Henkel, Jan Neven, Márcio Carneiro (violoncello), Gerardo Ribeiro (violine), Oliveira Lopes, Maria Mateu Palau, Margarida Natividade (voice).

In her recitals she regularly performs works of Portuguese composers she has come to know personally, such as Cláudio Carneyro, Macedo Pinto, Jorge Croner of Vasconcellos, Armando Fernandes, Lopes Graça, Luís Costa, Filipe Pires and Cândido Lima. Several of these composers dedicated some of their works for piano to Manuela Gouveia.

Studio Recording 1988

Studio Recording 1988

Among her CD recordings there are various works of Portuguese composers, such as Carlos Seixas, Luiz Costa, Cláudio Carneyro, Jorge Croner de Vasconcelos, Armando José Fernandes, Filipe Pires, Ivo Cruz e Rui Soares da Costa, some of which were published as a world premiere.
Portuguese Order of Merit

Portuguese Order of Merit

For her personal efforts in making Portuguese music and culture known to a wider international public, she was awarded the Order of Merit of the Portuguese Government in 1993. As a Portuguese interpreter, she represented her country abroad on the occasion of several international events like the World Exhibition in Seville in 1992, the celebration of Portugal's accession to the European Union and at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn (Germany).
Order of Merit, Porto 2016

Order of Merit, Porto 2016

In 2016, she was awarded the Medal of Merit by the Municipality of Porto, Portugal.
SIPO – Óbidos International Piano Master Classes & Festival

SIPO – Óbidos International Piano Master Classes & Festival

Manuela Gouveia is regularly invited to play at Festivals – in Portugal, Belgium, Germany, France and Italy – and to give master classes, for which she is specially appreciated. Among the festivals and master classes, a particular mention has to be made of SIPO – Óbidos International Piano Master Classes & Festival, in Óbidos, Portugal, founded by Manuela Gouveia in 1996.

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Academic Teaching

Academic Teaching

She has been teaching at the Music Conservatory and at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Porto, Portugal, at the Music Conservatory of Bonn, Germany, and at Musicant, Escola d’Educació Musical in Barcelona, Spain.
  • General-Anzeiger, Bonn

     Ein großes Klaviertalent - Manuela Gouveia starkes Spieltemperament, ihre hochgespannte Darstellungsweise ... und eine feine klangdynamische Abschattierungskunst, die alle Klangmittel des modernen Flügels zum Einsatz bringt.

  • Jornal de Notícias, Porto

     Esta concertista de eleição... uma das nossas mais categorizadas instrumentistas de tecla, numa audição verdadeiramente notável. A fraseologia doce e quente que é apanágio de Manuela Gouveia. A música inconfundível saiu dos dedos prodigiosos de Manuela Gouveia como só os grandes intérpretes são susceptíveis de produzir.

  • Hamburger Abendblatt

     Manuela Gouveia bestach vom ersten Takt an mit der makellosen Klarheit und Leuchtkraft ihres ausgewogenen, strömenden Spiel ... ihrem ausgeprägten Formsinn... ihrem hockentwickelten Klangsinn.

  • Diario 16, Sevilla

     Manuela Gouveia brindó una espléndida ocasión para conocer el alto nivel interpretativo que vive el piano portugués... la elegancia y el mimo en la emisión del sonido... la belleza indudable de estas páginas fue dicha e expresada por Manuela Gouveia... través de una encomiable voluntad de desgranar fidedignamente el entramado creador del compositor.

  • Stuttgarter Zeitung

     In de Fallas Fantasia Baetica konnte Manuela Gouveia alles zusammenfassen, was ihr Spiel auszeichnet: Phantasie, südländisches Temperament und beträchtliche Viruosität.

  • A Ordem

     ... Os três poemas em prosa, peças interessantíssimas duma escrita pianística admirável a que Manuela Gouveia soube dar todo o relevo e originalidade... os três estudos e a suite de Debussy foram excepcionalmente bem interpretados... Excelentes o nebulado das sonoridades, o colorido dos efeitos, o jogo de nuances, a comunhão total da técnica e da mecânica com o talento e a capacidade do saber interpretar.

  • General-Anzeiger, Bonn

     Hörbar wurde ein Chopin voller Tïefen.schärfe, jenseits von aller sentimentalen oder leidenschaftlichen Effekthascherei, aber auch jenseits von aller pianistischer Eitelkeit ... Ausgezeichnet insbesondere auch ihr ebenso präzises wie feingliedrig nuanciertes Debussy-Spiel, höchst ausdrucksvoll.

  • O Comércio do Porto

     ... Beethoven, um dos criadores musicais para os quais Manuela Gouveia dir-se-ia particularmente fadada... o Rondo op. 129 foi admirável na exteriorização de todas as nuances... a Sonata op. 109 foi um primor – de bom gosto expositivo, com uma demonstração de sonoridades verdadeiramente beethovenianas, nos três movimentos.

  • Die Welt, Hamburg

     Manuela Gouveia entfaltete mit ausgeprägtem Sinn für klangliche Differenzierung alle Register ihres beträchtlichen Könnens.