Luís Pipa is today one of the most complete Portuguese pianists of his generation. The originality of his interpretations is associated with a great conceptual solidity, the result of a solid academic training.
Born in Figueira da Foz, he began his piano studies at the Calouste Gulbenkian Conservatory of Music in Braga with Natércia Gonçalves, later continuing his studies with Maria Teresa Xavier at the same Conservatory and at the Conservatory of Music of Porto, where he graduated with distinction. Between 1983 and 1986 he perfected himself in the Noel Flores concert class at the Hochscule Für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, having subsequently obtained the degree of Master of Music in Performance Studies at the University of Reading, England and the degree of Doctor (PhD) in Performance at the prestigious University of Leeds, following research on the great disciple of Liszt José Vianna da Motta.
He also studied with pianists Helena Sá e Costa and Laura O’Gorman, but also came into contact with figures such as Sequeira Costa, Jörg Demus, Marian Ribicky and Graham Barber.
From an early age, his vocation for teaching led him to teach at the Conservatory of Music of Braga, at the Academy of Music of Viana do Castelo and at the University of Minho. He has been a member of the juries of piano competitions on several occasions, and has been frequently invited to conduct Master Classes in Portugal and around the world.
Luís Pipa regularly performs in solo recitals, as part of chamber groups, or as a soloist with different orchestras. From his collaboration with other musicians, the names of violinists Gerardo Ribeiro, Sergey Arutyunian Eliot Lawson and Gustavo Delgado, cellists Paulo Gaio Lima, Jaroslav Mikus, Alexander Znachonak and Pavel Gomziakov, flutist Olavo Tengner Barros, clarinetists Allessandro Carbonare and Vítor Matos, singers Elisabete Matos, Rui Taveira, Sara Braga Simões and Oliveira Lopes stand out. and conductors Gunther Arglebe, Christopher Bochmann, Miguel Graça-Moura, António Soares, António Baptista, Miguel Clavel, Vasco Faria, Vitor Matos, Alberto Roque, Francesco Belli, Ernst Schelle, Hans Casteleyn, Paulo Areias and José Alberto Pina. He was the first absolute audition of some works, namely by the composers Luiz Costa, João Heitor Rigaud and Christopher Bochmann, and he was also the author of piano pieces, chamber music and songs, as well as publications of a pedagogical and scientific nature. Of his most recent appearances, in addition to masterclasses in Portugal, Spain and Italy, we highlight presentations at “Guimarães 2012, European Capital of Culture”, Aveiro International Music Festival, Casa da Música (Porto), and in cities such as Vienna, Oslo, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Valetta, in addition to the full performance of Mozart’s piano sonatas, in a series of nine concerts in nine Historic Churches in the city of Viana do Castelo.
He has been interested in other forms of artistic expression, participating in projects with the painters Alvaro Rocha and DeMiranda and the actors/directors António Durães and António Fonseca.
Luís Pipa has a vast record production, which includes repertoire from the Baroque to the twentieth century including, among others, works by composers such as Bach, Scartatti, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Khachaturian, as well as numerous works by Portuguese composers and some of his own compositions, as is the case of his CD ‘Portugal’, from 2009. Tracks from this CD were featured in the official selection of the Portuguese airline TAP, including sonatas by Carlos Seixas and ‘My Beautiful Blue Country’, his acclaimed introspective version for solo piano of the National Anthem of Portugal. A review published on
December 2014 in the Piano Journal considers this CD “remarkable and original” predicting that Suite Portugal will leave its mark on future anthologies of Portuguese music, also describing Luís Pipa as a pianist of great “depth, power and nobility”, and his interpretation of works by Vianna da Motta (CD, Toccata Classics, 2018) is described, in a more recent edition of the same publication, with words such as “seductive”, “profound and moving”, possessing “magnitude and delicacy of expression”. Daniel Morrison, in Fanfare magazine, states about the same CD: “Luís Pipa is clearly devoted to the music of his countryman, and the devotion shows in the sensitive, nuanced shaping he applies to these performances. He plays with precision, clarity, and poise”, while Dennis E. Ferrara, on Amazon Music, writes, “his tone is subtle and the nuance, color shading is most apparent. This pianist fully understands the Art of the Musical Phrase”. Also in 2018 he released a double CD with works by W.A Mozart (Tradisom), in December 2019 a double CD with piano sonatinas (Tradisom) and in 2020 the first volume of piano works by Phillip Scharwenka (Toccata Classics), the first volume of piano works by Óscar da Silva and the CD Revisiting Beethoven, commemorative of the composer’s 250th birthday, with the support of the GDA Foundation.
He is a professor of piano and chamber music at the University of Minho, currently occupying the positions of President of the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) – Portugal and member of the Board of Trustees of the international EPTA. He is quoted in Marquis Who is Who in the World, having been considered one of the ‘Top 100 Educators 2012’ by the International Biographical Centre.