Carlos Canhoto is one of the the most qualified Portuguese saxophone players. He was the first Portuguese saxophonist to obtain a PhD in Music (Performance), which he did at Aveiro University.
Carlos Canhoto graduated in Saxophone and Chamber Music at Cergy-Pontoise Conservatory, France, where he obtained a Médaille d’ Or with professor Jean-Yves Fourmeau. He also graduated in Musicology at Universidade Nova in Lisbon.
He took classes with Vincent David and master-classes with Daniel Deffayet, Claude Delangle, René Découais and the Rascher Saxophone Quartet.
He won several prizes: the 1st prize at unanimity and with congratulations from the jury at the U.F.A.M. Contest in Paris, in 1995, in the category “Supérieur”, and the 1st Prize at the Ile-de-France contest in Chamber Music, in 1998. He also won a 2nd prize (category Excellence) at the Léopold Bellan contest, in 1995.
While in Paris he was a member of Silken Sax and Yann Lemarié saxophone quartets.
He played has a soloist in Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Croatia and Slovenia. He played (also as a soloist) in the 14th, 17th and 18th editions of the World Saxophone Congress.
He has been very active in the promotion of new contemporary music and has premiered works by composers like Christopher Bochmann, Piet Swerts, Pedro Amaral, Antonin Servière, Amílcar Vasques Dias, Ângela da Ponte, Ângela Lopes, António Chagas Rosa, José Carlos Sousa, Eduardo Luís Patriarca, Sérgio Azevedo, Anne Victorino d'Almeida, Fernando C. Lapa, Sara Carvalho, Jaime Reis and João Pedro Delgado, among others. He has thus contributed to a growth in contemporary repertoire for saxophone, especially by Portuguese composers and with an emphasis in chamber music.
He has also performed as a soloist with the Portuguese Police Concert Band, the Portuguese Symphonic Band and the Filarmonia das Beiras Orchestra.
He also contributed to introduce, in Portugal, important pieces of the repertoire that hadn't been played there before, like Anton Webern's Quartett op. 22.
He's a founder and artistic director of Síntese – Grupo de Música Contemporânea, which has become one of the leading contemporary music ensembles in Portugal. He is also the artistic director of the Síntese Contemporary Music Festival, which held its 13th edition in 2019.
He’s also a founder and the soprano saxophone player of the Eldorado saxophone quartet, which began in 2017.
He has recorded four cd’s: Soli (2018) with new music for solo saxophone by Portuguese composers, Shout (2016) with music for solo saxophone and for saxophone and piano (with pianist Natalia Riabova) and two cd’s with Síntese – Grupo de Música Contemporânea: 2010 (2010) and Poiesis (2019).
He was a member of the Organization Board of the 2nd European Saxophone Congress, which took place in Porto (2017). He is the President of the Supervisory Board of the Portuguese Saxophone Association.
Carlos Canhoto is currently Professor at Castelo Branco's College of Arts (ESART). He also teaches at the conservatories of Guarda, Covilhã and Castelo Branco. He's also a researcher at INET/MD music research institute.
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