Carlos Damas is widely regarded as the most significant Portuguese violinist currently before the public, with a brilliant international career encompassing the great masterpieces to contemporary works, attested by an impressive international discography. He has often been compared by international critics to such masters as Thomas Zehetmair, Gidon Kremer and Henryk Szeryng.
Born in the ancient city of Coimbra in the Central Region of Portugal, Carlos showed his exceptional musical gifts from a very early age. He began violin studies at the Coimbra Conservatory when he was just three years old. A few years later the family moved to Lisbon, where Carlos continued studies under Vasco Broco, Leonor Prado and Alexandra Mendes.
Such were Carlos's qualities that he gave his public concerto debut aged just 15 with the Portuguese Radio Symphony Orchestra under Joaquim da Silva Pereira. The success of this concert led to further studies at the Paris Conservatoire with Jacqueline Lefèvre and the legendary Ivry Gitlis.
Aged 19, Carlos's acclaimed performance of the Parisian premiere of Luís de Freitas Branco's Violin Concerto took place in 1993. Among contemporary works in Carlois's extensive repertoire is Sérgio Azevedo's beautiful Reflections on a Portuguese Lullaby for solo violin and string orchestra - written for and dedicated to Carlos.
Carlos Damas is a regular soloist with concert organisatioins across the world, including the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, the Orchestra of St Luke's, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata de St. Severin, Camerata da Madeira, Winnipeg Symphony, Guanzhou Symphony Orchestra and the Mission Chamber Orchestra of San José. Carlos has often performed with the Macao Chamber Orchestra and has appeared as a soloist in concerts in New York in conjunction with UNESCO, including a performance of the Bach Double Violin Concerto at Lincoln Center.
Carlos holds a PhD in Education and Psychology of Music. His violin is by Giovanni Battista Gabrielli, the "ex-Isham", dating from 1763.
Carlos Damas's extensive discography includes many world premieres of music by leading Portuguese composers for such labels as Dux, Brilliant Classics and Naxos but it is his new recording for the leading Et Cetera label of the complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Beethoven, with the fine pianist Rubèn Lorenzo – issued to honour the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth – is a greatly significant recording project, eagerly awaited for some time. Clearly, Carlos Damas's profound musicianship is shown at its finest in his acclaimed interpretations of these incomparable masterpieces.
Carlos Damas Repertoire
No cuts or alterations of any kind should be made to this biography without the consent of Carlos Damas.
Branco: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2
Carlos Damas & Anna Tomasik play Fritz Kreisler
Carlos Damas - Modern Solo Violin Music
Carlos Damas - Solo Violin
De Freitas: Complete Music for Violin
Fragoso: Complete Chamber Music for Violin
Sibelius: Music for Violin & Piano
Sonatas for Violin and Piano Volume 1