In 2017, the core of Casa da Música's programming was British Music.

More than 30 concerts and 1200 educational activities took place throughout the year. The British Council celebrated the opening of this busy year with a British Music Showcase that took place on 20-22 January in Porto.

The list of British musicians invited to perform at Casa da Música was remarkable, with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Dame Felicity Lott, George Benjamin, Harry Christophers, Richard Egarr, Alexander Shelley among many others.

The Casa da Música has had a major role in promoting the most important contemporary British composers in Portugal and has commissioned and presented works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Jonathan Dove, James Dillon and Jonathan Harvey, who was the composer in residence in 2009.

Casa da Música has, over many years, established partnerships with the greatest British institutions such as BBC Radio 3, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Barbican Centre, the Southbank Centre and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival.

The British Council, in partnership with Casa da Música, organised an intensive programme of activities to celebrate the opening of the Year of British Music (20-22 January). The many European delegates and professionals invited to this weekend participated in a symposium to discuss the impact of the British referendum on the music industry in Europe. Taking part in the discussion were Tom Service (BBC Radio 3 and The Guardian), Susanna Eastburn (Chief Executive at Sound and Music), Cathy Graham (Director of Music, British Council), Sir Nicholas Kenyon CBE (Director of the Barbican Centre) and Emmanuel Hondré (Philharmonie de Paris). For an overview of the symposium please watch the video.

They also had the opportunity to meet four outstanding British composers – Philip Venables, Edmund Finnis, Emily Howard and Daniel Kidane. We are producing a series of digital newsletters over the next few months to keep you informed about the events taking place at the Casa da Música, and these also feature interviews with the composers. Read them below.

NEW: Meet: Mark Simpson

Meet: Gavin Higgins

Meet: Shiva Feshareki

Meet: Anna Meredith

Meet Daniel Kidane

Meet Emily Howard

Meet Philip Venables

Meet Edmund Finnis

If you are interested, you can subscribe to the British Council Music newsletter at the foot of these pages. 

from top left clockwise: Emily Howard, Philip Venables, Edmund Finnis (© Marie Kaus), Daniel Kildane (© Fernando De Franceschi)
from top left clockwise: Emily Howard, Philip Venables, Edmund Finnis (© Marie Kaus), Daniel Kildane (© Fernando De Franceschi)

Here’s to hoping that the wind of change doesn’t completely blow away common sense.

Daniel Kidane travelled to Portugal for the opening of the Year of British Music. Read his thoughts on Portugal, his start in music, and Brexit...

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