TT he Living Composers Project  

Tinoco, Luís (b. July 16, 1969, Lisbon). Portuguese composer of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed in Europe and elsewhere.

Mr. Tinoco studied composition with Christopher Bochmann and António Pinho Vargas at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, where he earned his BA in 1996. He then studied composition with Paul Patterson at the Royal Academy of Music in London and there earned his MMus in 1999, on scholarships from the Centro Nacional de Cultura and the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. He has studied composition with Nicola LeFanu at the University of York since 2006, where he is working on his PhD. He has also attended seminars with Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Franco Donatoni, among others.

Among his honors in Portugal are the Prémio de Composição Lopes-Graça (1995, for Quarteto de Cordas), the Prémio Revelação Ribeiro da Fonte from the Ministério da Cultura (2000, for his recent works) and the Prémio de Composição Cláudio Carneyro (2000, for ...a Terra Fértil). Among his honors in the UK are the Edward Hecht (1997), Mosco Carner (1998), Battison Haynes (1998), Howard Carr Memorial (1998), and Charles Lucas (1999) prizes, all from the Royal Academy of Music.

His other honors include First Prize in the competition of the Galliard Ensemble (1999, for Autumn Wind) and selection as a finalist at the Journées de la jeune musique à Marseilles (1999, for A Way to Silence). He was also short-listed by the Society for the Promotion of New Music (1999, for A Way to Silence and Perpetuum) and was a finalist at the International Young Composers Forum (2000, for Antípoda). In addition, his A Way to Silence represented Portugal at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (2001). His music has been heard in Australia, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, South Korea, the UK, and the USA, including once at the ISCM World New Music Festival in Ljubljana (2003).

Mr. Tinoco is also active in other positions. He presented a program of 20th- and 21st-century music, A Partitura de um Século, for RDP in Lisbon from 2000–03 and has produced the international new music program Geografia dos Sons for RDP since 2003. In addition, he has served as artistic director of the Prémio Jovens Músicos of RDP since 2006. He has also served as artistic director of the new music ensemble OrchestrUtopica since 2001.

He has taught analysis and composition at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa since 1999 and taught composition at the Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espectáculo in Porto in 2003–04.

The University of York Music Press publishes most of his music.


E-mail address for consulting scores:



STAGE: Solonely (dance music, choreography by David Fielding), double bass, live electronics, 2002; Imaginary Dancescapea melodrumming after Cocteau (text by Jean Cocteau), baritone, 5 percussion, 2003

ORCHESTRAL: Perpetuum, large orchestra (87 players), 1996; Canto para Timor Leste, 14 strings, 1998; Antípoda, small orchestra (15 players), 1999–2000; Invenção sobre Paisagem, small orchestra (15 players), 2001; Round Time, large orchestra (94 players), 2002; Zapping, 2004; Hovering over, small orchestra (16 players), 2004; Tracing the Memory, 2004–05; Díptico, piano, large orchestra, 2004–05; Ascent, large orchestra (77 players), 2006–07

CHAMBER MUSIC: Quarteto de Cordas, string quartet, 1995; Verde Secreto, alto saxophone, piano, 1997; Tríptico, violin, piano, 1997; A Way to Silence, flute, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trombone, violin, viola, cello, 1997; Autumn Wind, flute (+ piccolo, alto flute), oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1998; Lugares Esquecidos, violin, viola, cello, piano, 1998; Sundance Sequence, flute, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trombone, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, 1999; ...a Terra Fértil, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1999; Mind the Gap, marimba, 1999–2000; LightDistance, flute (+ piccolo, alto flute), oboe (+ English horn), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), French horn, bassoon, 2000; O Curso das Águas, flute, oboe d'amore (+ English horn), clarinet, bassoon, 2001; Ends meet, marimba, string quartet, 2001–02; Short Cuts, 4 saxophones, 2003; Labyrinth, clarinet, ensemble (oboe [+ English horn], bassoon, trumpet, violin, viola, cello, double bass), 2005; The Delirium of My Desirea Consequenza for solo flute, in memoriam Luciano Berio, 2006; Steel Factory, 4 steel drums (all + 2 bongos, 3 sixxens [steel plaques]), 2006

CHORAL: Round Time Poems (text by João Tinoco), male chorus, 1999

VOCAL: Três Poemas do Oriente (text by Camilo Pessanha), soprano, flute (+ alto flute), clarinet, harp, piano, percussion, 2001 (also French version as Trois Poèmes de l'Orient [translated by Christine Pâris-Montech], 2003); Qalbî 'arabîos viajantes da noite (texts from 11th-, 12th-century Luso-Arabic poetry [translated by Adalberto Alves]), 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, 15 strings, 2002; Fantastic Tales (text by Terry Jones), male speaker, orchestra, 2005–06 (also Portuguese version as Contos Fantásticos [translated by Manuela Madureira, Fernando Rebelo], 2005–06); Search Songs (song-cycle, text by Fernando Pessoa), soprano, orchestra, 2006–07

DIDACTIC MUSIC: Diversion, guitar, snare drum, 2 variable players ad libitum, 2006


Autumn Wind. Galliard Ensemble (Meridian: CDE 84429, 2001)

Quarteto de Cordas. Arditti String Quartet (Etcetera: KTC 1242, 2001)

Antípoda. Lorraine Vaillancourt/Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Atma: ACD 2328, 2003)

Mind the Gap. Pedro Carneiro, marimba (Deux-Elles: DXL 1071, 2003)

LightDistance; O Curso das Águas; Autumn Wind. Galliard Ensemble (Deux-Elles: DXL 1084, 2003)

...a Terra Fértil. John Wallace/Royal Scottish Academy Brass (Deux-Elles: DXL 1087, 2003)

Short Cuts. Apollo Saxophone Quartet (Quartz: QTZ2012, 2004)

Antípoda; Trois Poèmes de l'Orient; Lugares Esquecidos; Short Cuts; Sundance Sequence; Invenção sobre Paisagem. Eileen Hulse, soprano; Odaline de la Martinez/Lontano (Lorelt: LNT 121, 2005)

(Last updated on April 11, 2008)

Luís Tinoco, Luis Tinoco, Luiz Tinoco, Louis Tinoco