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Ernesto Nazareth Up Close

  • St. David's Room, Strand Campus Strand London United Kingdom (map)

Ernesto Nazareth (1863-1934) was an important Brazilian composer and pianist during a period of early musical nationalism around the turn of the nineteenth century. He composed numerous ‘tangos brasileiros', polkas, maxixes, and choros that helped lay the groundwork for what would later blossom into the musical modernism of the late 1920s and 1930s and that are still performed today. He is considered a founding figure in the history of Brazilian choro.

During the event we will have the opportunity to look at some primary sources, including Nazareth’s manuscripts, and to hear live performance of several of his compositions, by pianist Clelia Iruzun, illustrating different styles of compositions such as Tangos, Polkas, altzes and Sambas.

Co-hosted by the King’s Brazil Institute and the Music Department, ‘Nazareth Up Close’ will be informative for anyone interested in music and/or Brazilian history and culture.

The event is free, but registration is required. Register here:

Luiz Antonio de Almeida

Luiz Antonio de Almeida was born in Rio de Janeiro. He is a researcher of Brazilian Music and in 1976 began to research the life and work of composer Ernesto Nazareth, becoming his main biographer. In 1980, he initiated a friendship with the Nazareth family, which made him the heir to the entire collection of the musician. Luiz Antonio was awarded the “Premio Moinho Santista” (1985), in the area of classical and popular music and, in 2003, began working at the Museum of Image and Sound in Rio de Janeiro assuming, then, the Head of Research at Lapa headquarters. In 2013, he published the complete biography of Nazareth on an online version, under the auspices of the Instituto Moreira Salles.

Clélia Iruzun

With her combination of colourful Brazilian spirit and musicianship, London-based pianist Clélia Iruzun is one of the most exciting musicians to emerge onto the international scene in recent years. Clélia’s childhood was spent in the rich cultural atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro where she began playing the piano at the age of four, winning her first competition at seven and making her orchestral debut playing Grieg’s Piano Concerto at 15. At 17 Clelia won a scholarship to continue her development by studying with the highly regarded Maria Curcio in London, and then with Christopher Elton, who took her under his wing at the Royal Academy of Music where she graduated with the Recital Diploma. Later she also studied with Noretta Conci and then with Mercês de Silva Telles, who encouraged Clélia to develop her own definitive style. Her mentors have included Fou Ts’Ong, Stephen Kovacevich, and her compatriots, the great pianists Jacques Klein and Nelson Freire. Even from the early years of her career, Clélia’s stunning piano playing caught the attention of prominent musical figures such as Francisco Mignone who wrote a Suite especially for her and more recently Marlos Nobre who also dedicated a piece for her. Clélia has won many awards in Brazil and in Europe, such as the Tunbridge Wells Piano Competition in the UK, the Paloma O'Shea in Santander and Pilar Bayona in Zaragoza, Spain.

Clélia Iruzun has given recitals and concerto performance all over Europe, the Americas and Asia. Her tours in China included concerts for huge audiences, including recitals at the Grand Theatre in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. Her recital in Shanghai was voted one of the ten best concerts of the year. She has also toured China and Brazil with the Coull Quartet and performed with them again in the UK in the Southbank and in their series in Warwick University. 
In the UK she has performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John’s Smith Square and music societies and festivals across the country. She has also appeared several times on radio and television, including broadcasts for BBC Radio 3.

Concert tours have taken her across Canada and the USA, to Yugoslavia, Poland and the Czech Republic, Portugal, France and Spain. She has performed extensively in Scandinavia as well. 
In her native Brazil she is a regular performer on TV and radio and major concert halls where she has also premiered works by British composers such as York Bowen and Arnold Bax; recent performances include the prestigious Campos do Jordão Festival and concertos with the leading orchestras in the country.

Clelia has recently finished a Master degree in Philosophy at the Birkbeck College, University of London.