Nicholas McNair

Nicholas McNair

Nicholas McNair, a resident in Portugal since 1980, was Head chorister at Canterbury Cathedral at the age of 13, later studying at Cambridge University as well as composition and piano at the Royal College of Music. he wrote a series of works supported by the Arts Council of Great Britain, the RVW Trust and other foundations, and gave his first recital of improvisation in 1979. He worked in the 1990s as editor with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, researching and preparing for performance and recording (with DG Archiv) the principal operas of Mozart and Beethoven. Other editions include the opera Antigono by Antonio Mazzoni (Lisboa October 1755 - world premiere Belém Cultural Centre January 2011), also operas by Gluck and Piccinni.
A teacher at the Escola Superior de Música in Lisboa from 1988-2021, he was Artistic Director of its Opera Studio from 2011 to 2015, initiating the Orpheus project for young composers in collaboration with the European Network of Opera Academies and the Gulbenkian Foundation. He worked regularly with the Gulbenkian Choir and Orchestra as organist and pianist, and made live music for 150 silent films at the Cinemateca in Lisboa, appearing also at the Cannes Festival in 1995, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., in 1997. He collaborated with many composers and stage directors in the preparation of contemporary operas and theatre productions in Lisboa.
He is presently preparing his doctoral thesis on improvisation, as a researcher at CESEM/Nova.
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Samuel Gapp (*1997) is a German pianist, composer and interdisciplinary artist based in Lisbon, Portugal.Gapp is active as a pianist in improvised and contemporary music. As a composer, he is mostly focussing on the combination of classical formations with improvisation.In 2019, his compositions for piano trio and string quartet were awarded with the Bernardo Sassetti Composition Prize. In the same year, he won the Young Musicians Prize with the QuartetoTomás Marques in Portugal. Gapp has created various interdisciplinary projects, such as his video exhibition “Social Distancing” (improvised music with abstract videos),  the trio “Triplo Salto Mortal” (realtimeaudiovisual improvising) or his most recent project “14 Dialoge” (dialogues between solo piano and images). As a founding member of “Habitable Records” and being part of “CI Community Project”, he is collaborating with artists all over the world and creating an international platform that aims for exchange, equality and musical research. He is also active in an educational and social context: In 2014, he spent six months in Ecuador, where he taught music to socially disadvantaged children in the city of Guayaquil. In 2021, he performed at the Big Bang Festival in Lisboa, a European music festival for young audiences. So far, Samuel Gapp has worked with musicians like Peter Evans, Evan Parker, Christian Lillinger, Peter Brötzmann, Michael Schiefel, DemianCabaud, among others. He studied jazz piano with Florian Ross, Sebastian Sternal, Hendrik Soll and João Paulo Esteves da Silva at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne and the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa. Currently, he is doing his master’s degree in classical composition at ESML with Luís Tinoco.

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