A soloist with regular recital and concerto appearances, a keen chamber musician and orchestral player, André Gaio Pereira is a Portuguese violinist residing in London.
André was nominated Young Musician of the Year in Portugal in 2017 and consequently performed Shostakovich Violin Concerto in A minor with Gulbenkian Orchestra live for national television and radio. He has also appeared with Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, Algarve Orchestra, Beiras Philharmonic, Ponta Delgada Sinfonietta and Cascais & Oeiras Chamber Orchestra, and collaborated with conductors such as Christoph Poppen, Jean-Sebastien Béreau, Nuno Coelho and Nikolay Lalov.
The highest graduand at the Royal Academy of Music 2015/16, André obtained 1st in Young Artists Competition in Portugal in 2017 and 2nd prize and Bach Prize at Vasco Barbosa Competition in 2016. He has attended masterclasses with Igor Oistrakh, Maxim Vengerov, Zakhar Bron, Anna Chumachenko and Gyorgy Pauk, and took part in the prestigious Kronberg Masterclasses (2011) and the IMS Prussia Cove (2016).
As a chamber musician André has appeared at the Wigmore Hall and the Cadogan Hall as the 1st violinist of the Tagus Quartet and in collaborations with the Nash Ensemble and the Doric Quartet. He was also invited for festivals such as Harmos, Mendelssohn on Mull, Oxford Lieder Festival, Marvão International Music Festival, Leiria Music Festival and Festa da Música. In 2018 André founded the Tejo Quartet, of which he is the first violin. The group won the Young Artists’ Prize in the chamber music section in 2019 and is now enjoying a busy concert season.
Currently André is pursuing a freelance career after having finished his Masters degree with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music (2018) under the guidance of Levon Chilingirian. One of his most recent projects involves his own arrangements of music for the Portuguese guitar by Carlos Paredes. He gave the first performances of these in the last edition of Setúbal Music Festival and is now working towards the recording of a CD.
I was 4 when I had my first music lessons: we mostly sang easy tunes and listened to music. When the teachers thought we were ready we would join the children’s choir.
Unsure about what instrument to choose and even having been denied learning the tuba, I opted to play the violin, following my best friend’s steps.
I made my solo debut at Festa da Música in Portugal, playing A. Vivaldi Concerto in A minor.
Also this year, I went to Italy with the Suzuki group I belonged to. My first big journey with the violin!
The late Igor Oistrakh was visiting Portugal and giving a masterclass to undergraduate students. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to play Kreisler’s Praeludium und Allegro for him!
The first big turn in my life as musician came when I won the 1st Prize at Fundão International Competition in the Junior Category.
Winning the 1st Prize in the Junior Category of Portugal’s most celebrated competition, Young Artists’ Award, also opened many new doors.
I had my solo debut with professional orchestras, namely Gulbenkian Orchestra and Algarve Orchestra.
Late as this may seem, it was early in this year that I decided that music was what I wanted to do professionally. I left the school where I was pursuing a scientific course to join a specialist music school.
I participated in the Kronberg Masterclasses where I had lessons with Zakhar Bron - I was absolutely astonished with the level of the violinists around me.
After finishing music school with the highest grade in my violin exam, I left Portugal to come to London to study with Remus Azoitei at the Royal Academy of Music - it was a very exciting moment!
I spent the summer in Bolzano, Italy, as a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra summer school. From music to the landscape, these were weeks to remember.
Two years since I had moved to London, and having been part of many chamber music groups, I formed the Tagus Quartet. The quartet would be much of my life for the next three years.
The Tagus Quartet appears at Wigmore Hall in a public masterclass with András Keller.
I felt it was time to try my luck at an international competition. Brahms International Competition was my choice and I reached the semifinals.
For the first time I led the Academy Symphony Orchestra with Sir Mark Elder conducting a programme of Shostakovich. I would then lead the orchestra again under the baton of Semyon Bychkov and Edward Gardner.
Invited by the Academy, I went to the Pacific Music Festival in Japan where I had the chance to play with Valery Gergiev.
The Tagus joins forces with Doric Quartet for a performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet at Oxford Lieder Festival and once more plays at Wigmore Hall, this time with Ian Brown from the Nash Ensemble.
I travelled to the beautiful settings of Cornwall as one of the artists participating in the International Musicians’ Seminar Prussia Cove.
In June I graduated from the Academy, being awarded the Louise Child Memorial Prize in recognition of the highest-achieving graduand of my year.
Three months after, I joined Levon Chilingirian’s class and started my Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music.
I had the chance to play with the London Symphony Orchestra on three occasions as part of their String Experience Scheme. After that I became an extra member.
This time on the Senior Category, I obtained the 1st Prize at Young Artists’ Prize in Portugal.
After the Grand Final in October, when I performed Shostakovich Concerto in A minor with Gulbenkian Orchestra, I was nominated Young Musician of the Year 2017.
My collaborations as guest leader of the Almada Chamber Orchestra took off.
When I am not thinking of music I enjoy my time doing things such as writing, memorising and reciting poetry, playing chess, juggling and reading about philosophy, history or any provoking or beautiful book. If the weather is smiling I take my bike out and explore the surroundings!