Biography

Portuguese pianist João Costa Ferreira (b. 1986) began his piano studies at eleven years-old at the Music Conservatory of Leiria under professor Luís Batalha. He holds the “Diplôme Supérieur d’Exécution” of the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, institution where he studied under Marian Rybicki and Guigla Katsarava. He is also a researcher Graduated and Master in Music and Musicology by Sorbonne University. As fellowship of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, he is currently doing a PhD in same University under the direction of musicologist and philosopher Danielle Cohen-Levinas, studying José Vianna da Motta’s pianistic writing, technique and interpretation through his works.

Even though João Costa Ferreira’s repertoire covers all styles from Baroque onwards, he is specialized in music from the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. In his solo and chamber music projects, he is as interested in the interpretation of the great classical repertoire as in the discovery of forgotten composers and the commissioning of works to contemporary composers. He has performed in concert halls in Portugal, France, Belgium, Spain and Netherlands, namely at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), at the São Carlos National Theater (Lisbon), at the Casa da Música (Porto), at the Rivoli Theater (Porto), at the Palais d’Iéna (Paris), at the Salle Cortot (Paris), at the Gothic Hall of the Brussels Town Hall. Many of his concerts and disc recordings have been broadcast by Antena 2 (Portuguese classic radio), by France Musique (French classic radio) and by several other European radio stations.

João Costa Ferreira has been playing an active role in the rehabilitation and valorisation of Portuguese musical heritage through the publication and recording of works by José Vianna da Motta. Since 2015, in collaboration with the publisher AvA Musical Editions, he revised and prefaced more than thirty works, most of them never published before. In 2018, he released a disc with the world’s first recording of Cinco Rapsódias Portuguesas on label Grand Piano Records (Naxos group), a cycle that marks the beginning of the composer’s creative phase characterized by the use of Portuguese popular music. In 2020, João Costa Ferreira released on MPMP label the first album of the discography series José Vianna da Motta: Poemas Pianísticos dedicated to childhood works, an album that received the Honorable Mention from Grémio Literário. Together with pianist Bruno Belthoise, João Costa Ferreira recorded the entirety work for piano four-hands on labels MPMP and Coriolan.

In addition to the various awards won in international piano competitions, notably the 2nd prize in the XVth Maria Campina International Piano Competition (1st prize not awarded), João Costa Ferreira has been distinguished by various cultural institutions. In 2015, he was awarded with the prize “Best Artistic Revelation” by Cap Magellan association on the celebration of the Portuguese Republic held at the Paris City Hall. In 2019, he was distinguished by INATEL Leiria with the “Culture Award – Music” at a gala to celebrate the institution’s 75th anniversary.