An outstanding Portuguese violinist with a brilliant international career, Carlos Damas is considered by ‘Gramophone’ and ‘The Strad’ as one of the best interpreters of Fritz Kreisler’s works. International critics have compared him to world-acclaimed violinists such as Thomas Zehetmair, Gidon Kremer, and Henryk Szeryng.
He attended the Conservatorio de Coimbra at the age of three, where he first got acquainted with the world of sounds. He debuted as a soloist with the now dismantled Orquestra da Radio Difusao Portuguesa conducted by maestro Silva Pereira. He moved to Paris where he attended the Conservatoire. He studied under Jacqueline Lefèvre and maestro Ivry Gitlis. During his Paris period, he met regularly with Yehudi Menuhin, who provided guidance in his career as an artist and violinist.
He was invited by the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, to participate in the Semmering Festival. Also in Austria, he worked with violinist Dora Schwarzberg and pianist Yuri Smirnov. He also participated in masterclasses directed by violinist Shlomo Mintz.
He gave the Parisian premiere of the Violin Concerto written by Portuguese composer Luis de Freitas Branco. He has premiered works by modern composers such as Jacques Chayllé, Gracia Finzi, Michel Merlet, Jean Jacques Werner, Jacques Bondon and Sérgio Azevedo.
Carlos Damas has recorded extensively, placing a clear emphasis on the dissemination of the repertoire written by Portuguese composers. His recordings have been released by Naxos, Brilliant Classics, Et’cetera and Dux.
Carlos Damas has played as soloist all over Europe, North America and Asia with orchestras such as the Jeune Philharmonie (Val de Marne-Paris), Winnipeg Symphony, North Dakota International Music Camp Orchestra, St. Luke’s Orchestra, Camerata de St. Severin (Paris), Orchestre Internationale de la Cité (Paris), Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra (China), Macao Orchestra, Mission Chamber Orchestra (San José, California) and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Carlos Damas has performed in prestigious concert halls, such as the Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot (Paris), UNESCO Grand Auditorium, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lee Hysan Concert Hall in Hong-Kong and Ville Louvigy (Philharmonique du Luxembourg).
Carlos Damas plays a valuable Italian violin by G. B. Gabrielli, ex “Isham”, dated circa 1767, donated by an American fan.
In addition to his activity as concert violinist, Carlos Damas is currently a researcher at the Centro de Estudios y Estética Musical at the Universidade Nova in Lisbon and served with the Board of ANSO/Metropolitana between 2013 and 2016.
Carlos is an artist of Fanjul & Ward.
Angélica Fanjul | email@example.com
THEY’VE SAID ABOUT HIM
“A very expressive performance by the Portuguese violinist.” (Paulino Toriba, Ritmo, março 2012
“His performances are aptly gutsy and passionate.” (David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday, 2012)
“Damas plays with touchingly vulnerable sensitivity.” (Rob Barnett, Musicweb International, novembro 2011)
“Mr. Damas playing is both sensitive and enthusiastic.” (Bob McQuiston, Classical Lost and Found, novembro 2011)
“Portuguese virtuoso Carlos Damas is closer to the modern sensibilities and sound world of Thomas Zehetmair and Gidon Kremer… Damas with lightning technical reflexes and tonal flexibility… possesses a Szeryng-like finesse.” (Julian Haylock, The Strad, 2009)
“Top technical marks… Carlos Damas boasts a clear, ringing tone and impressive dexterity. He’s mastered the technical problems posed by Ysaye. His playing of the Kreisler demonstrates authentic warmth and charm” (Duncan Druce, Gramophone, 2007)
“The most important thing is that his heart is in the music… Damas can really sing big tunes” (Brian Reinhart, Musicweb International, 2009
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