Profile

Agustina Bessa-Luís
14 September, 2018 / ,

“I live here, but Porto is not a place for me; it’s a feeling”

Agustina Bessa-Luís is one of the most emblematic women of Portuguese culture. With dozens of published works and a unique personality, she has an enormous passion for Porto.

She was born in Vila-Meã, Amarante, on October 15, 1922, but during her childhood and adolescence she lived in several cities, yet maintained a strong connection to the Douro region which was notorious in many of her work. Her maternal grandfather’s library allowed her the first contact with French and English literature, which influenced her.

During her adolescence, she even wrote novels under a pseudonym but it was in 1948 that she published the first book, “Mundo Fechado”. Three years earlier she had married Alberto Luís. She met her husband through an advertisement she published in a newspaper in which she sought a cultured person with whom to exchange correspondence, which clearly reveals her independent and determined temperament. In 1953, with the award-winning novel, “A Sibila” (The Sibyl), Agustina Bessa-Luís gained great recognition.

From then until the first years of the 21st century, she published dozens of works, some of them adapted to the cinema by Manoel de Oliveira. Although often dissatisfied with these adaptations, this collaboration was long and fruitful. Agustina even wrote the text that accompanies the film “Visita ou Memórias e Confissões”, made to be exhibited after the director’s death. The “Corte do Norte” was also adapted to the cinema by João Botelho and several works were adapted to the stage. In addition to novels, she also wrote plays, biographies, essays and children’s books. Between 1986 and 1987 she was director of the newspaper O Primeiro de Janeiro and between 1990 and 1993 she was in the board of the Teatro Nacional de D. Maria II.

She is a member of the Academie Européenne des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres (Paris) and the Academia Brasileira de Letras and the Academia das Ciências de Lisboa. Among the honors received are the Order of Sant’Iago da Espada (1980), the Medal of Honor of the City of Porto (1988) and the Officier’s degree of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Government (1989).  Her work has been translated into German, Castilian, Danish, French, Greek, Italian and Romanian.

Undaunted, intelligent, sarcastic, and fearless in defying conventions and powers, Agustina Bessa-Luís was never afraid to say what she thought or let herself be intimidated for being a woman or of not belonging to the circles of power. For health reasons, she has been away from public and literary life for several years.

Pedro Abrunhosa
13 August, 2018 / ,

He is one of the greatest names of Portuguese music. It was with the album “Viagens” in 1994,that he was made known to the general public, having won the success and affection of many who maintained it until today through a total of 7 original works.

That first record featuring Maceo Parker, James Brown’s saxophone player, was followed by “Tempo” (1996), “Silêncio” (1999), “Momento” (2002), “Luz” (2007), “Longe” (2010) and “Contramão” (2013). In the first 5 studio albums, he was accompanied by the band Bandemónio; in the last 2, by the Comité Caviar. All the songs were written and composed by him.

He is Pedro Abrunhosa. He was born in 1960, started in classical music studies, was a teacher (from the age of 16) and bass guitarist of Jazz having founded the Escola de Jazz do Porto (Oporto Jazz School) and his own Orchestra. He is known for always wearing his sunglasses but mainly for many successes in the last 25 years of Portuguese music, such as “Tudo o que eu te dou”, “Momento”, “Se eu fosse um dia o teu olhar” – song composed for the soundtrack of the film “Adam and Eve” by Joaquim Leitão – “Toma conta de mim” or “Fazer o que ainda não foi feito”. His songs are interpreted in Brazil by names like Caetano Veloso (who invited him to present a show together at Expo98), Maria Bethânia, among many others. He also composed for other musicians, like Ana Moura, Carlos do Carmo or Camané. In 2004 he was one of the artists who closed Rock in Rio which was held for the first time in Lisbon. In addition to the 7 studio albums, he released two DVD’s: “Intimidade” in 2005 and “Coliseu” in 2011.

 

In addition to being a songwriter, Pedro Abrunhosa has appeared opposite Chiara Mastroianni in Manoel de Oliveira’s “A Carta”, 1999, and is a regular chronicler in various media outlets. In 2005 he founded the BoomStudios, recording studios for himself and for other national and international music names. He won several awards: 3 Golden Globes, the Bordallo Press Prize, the SPA Prize – Pedro Osório, 4 Blitz Awards, and many others.

In 2016, Pedro Abrunhosa was the author responsible for the song of support for the National Football Team at Euro2016 in France, with an adaptation of the song “Tudo que te dou”.

But Pedro Abrunhosa is also a man of causes. And if today the city vibrates with the cultural programming of the Coliseum, it is surely in the memory of the Porto residents the image of Pedro Abrunhosa handcuffed at the doors symbolizing the opposition of the city to the sale of the space. For this reason and for everything else, Pedro is a man from the city of Porto and Porto is the city of Pedro Abrunhosa.

Souto Moura
20 July, 2018 /

Winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture (2011), Eduardo Souto Moura is one of the supporters of the so-called “Porto School”.

Eduardo Elísio Machado Souto de Moura was born in Porto on July 25, 1952 and studied at the Superior School of Fine Arts in Porto and at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto. He also collaborated with Siza Vieira as a student. The influence of Siza (who also received a Pritzker in 1992) is recognized by Souto Moura, but the two architects are also friends and have done projects together.

Souto Moura received the first prize of his career as soon as he graduated. The following year he began to teach in the Architecture course of the University of Porto, but throughout his career he also taught at the Faculty of Architecture of Paris-Belleville, architecture schools of Harvard and Dublin (1989), ETH Zurich and School of Architecture of Lausanne.

In addition to the construction projects, Souto Moura has also been outstanding in interventions carried out in historic buildings, territorial interventions and, more recently, works in the area of ​​Product Design. In addition to the Pritzker, he was the only architect to win the Pessoa Award. Within his enormous array of awards, the recent Golden Lion of the Biennial of Architecture of Venice stands out. He lives in Porto with his family, in a house he designed. Siza Vieira is his neighbour and they share an office with Rogério Cavaca close to home.

Some of his most emblematic works:

  • Casa das Artes, Porto
  • Ponte dell’Accademia, Bienal of Venice, Italy
  • Conversion of the Convent of Santa Maria do Bouro
  • Burgo Empreendimento – office buildings and commercial gallery, at Avenida da Boavista, Porto
  • Block of housing in Rua do Teatro, Porto
  • Children’s library and auditorium for the Municipal Public Library of Porto
  • Remodeling and valorization of the Grão Vasco Museum, Viseu
  • Reconversion of the Porto Customs Building in the Museum of Transport and Communications
  • Conversion of the Marginal Range of Matosinhos Sul
  • Portuguese Photography Center, building of the Chain of Relation of Porto
  • Architectural project for the Metro do Porto
  • Cinema House Manoel de Oliveira
  • Municipal Stadium of Braga
  • Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, Cascais
Vasco Graça Moura
6 June, 2018 /

Writer, poet and translator, Vasco Graça Moura was one of the most outstanding figures of the most recent Portuguese cultural life. A law graduate, he turned to writing as his greatest passion but also had a great intervention in politics.

Born in Foz do Douro, Oporto, on January 3, 1942, Vasco Graça Moura still had a sense of the appeal of the Fine Arts, but ended up following the course of law which was, in fact, a tradition in his family.

His first work was Modo Mudando, in 1963. Throughout his life, he authored more than 100 works, including poems, novels and essays. He also took the spotlight in translations, dedicating himself to authors like Rilke, Shakespeare or Dante. The translation of “The Divine Comedy” earned him the Gold Medal of the City of Florence (Italy). This distinction also includes awards received in Brazil and the most prestigious ones awarded in Portugal.

Among the various prizes we has awarded, the highlights include the Prémio Pessoa (1995), the International Prize “La cultura del mar” in Italy (2002), the Coroa de Ouro do Struga Poetry Evenings (Macedonia, 2004) or the Vergílio Ferreira Prize (2007).

In addition to a vast literary career, Vasco Graça Moura also stood out in politics as Secretary of State of two governments. He was the director of Portuguese public television programs (RTP) in 1978 and in that year he also managed the editorial part of the National Press -Casa da Moeda. Between 1988 and 1995 he was president of the National Commission for the Commemorations of the Portuguese Discoveries and commissioner-general of Portugal for the Universal Exposition of Seville (1988-1992).

In 1999, he was elected to the European Parliament, a role he would hold for ten years. In 2012 he was nominated for the presidency of the Centro Cultural de Belém Foundation. He died in Lisbon on April 27, 2014.

 

José Rodrigues – The sculptor who made his mark in Porto
18 April, 2018 /

José Rodrigues is one of the greatest Portuguese sculptors, deceased on September 10, but his works continue to mark the landscape of the city.

Born in Luanda, Angola, in 1936, José Rodrigues demonstrated at a very early age a taste for sculpture and even as a child he liked to mold clay. Later in Portugal, he studied sculpture at the Escola Superior de Belas Artes do Porto, where he would become a teacher some time later. He was Founder and chairman of Cooperativa de Ensino Artístico Árvore and founder of the Bienal de Cerveira.

In addition to sculpture he also dedicated himself to other artistic expressions. He Illustrated books for writers and poets, produced ceramics and medals, created scenographies and designed the set for the classification ceremony of Porto as a World Heritage City.

His foundation, located in a former hat factory, embraced not only his studio, but also a place for dissemination of arts, with exhibition halls and an auditorium, receiving a ballet and theater company as well.

Among his most famous works are O Cubo da Praça da Ribeira (The Cube of Ribeira Square) (1976) or the Entrepreneur Monument (1992).

Alexandre Quintanilha
15 March, 2018 / ,

Alexandre Quintanilha, internationally recognized scientist,  was born in Africa and lived in the United States before moving to Porto, where he directed and taught at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology until his retirement. He is currently a Member of Parliament in the Republic Assembly.

He was born in Mozambique on August 9, 1945, son of an Azorean and a German. His father was a famous biologist but Alexander began by studying physics. He graduated in Theoretical Physics at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. He later traveled to the United States and studied at the prestigious University of Berkeley, California. It was during this period and whilst living in San Francisco that he met Richard Zimler, then a student. Zimler, who he later married in Portugal, is nowadays a famous writer as well as a university professor.

Between 1983 and 1990 he was assistant director of the Energy and Environment section at the Lawrence National Laboratory. In the 90’s he was challenged to return to Portugal and help found the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, where he eventually became the director. The arrival to Porto happened at the invitation of the neurologist Corino de Andrade, who at the time was already planning to create the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar. It would be there that Alexandre Quintanilha would teach until he retired. He is the author of publications in the areas of Biology, Environment and Applied Physics. He is the only Portuguese member of the National Geographic Society’s Research and Exploration Council. He has published close to 100 articles in several worldwide scientific journals and was the editor and author of six volumes in areas of Biology and Environment. More than a scientist, Alexandre Quintanilha is a passionate for knowledge. He’s lived in three continents, speaks four languages ​​and likes to question what seems permanent. If at first he felt some difficulties adapting to the city, he quickly became infected by the beauty of Porto and by the friendly way in which he was received.

 

 

The suggestions of João Espírito Santo
15 February, 2018 / , ,

One of the most famous Portuguese dentists, frequent TV show guest and a with a charitable mission: make people smile and care of their oral health regardless of their economical standing.

In Portugal, he’s mainly known as “Senhor Doutor” (Mr. Doctor) or “Doutor João” (Doctor João), thanks to a television show that offers dental treatment to the less fortunate. Besides his appointments and investigation, he teaches at Portuguese and Spanish schools.

Born in Porto in 1979, João Espírito Santo studied and worked most of his time in the city, where he founded and runs the Medical Art Center clinic. Porto, and mainly Foz, are his base despite having to travel frequently the past few years for academic and business reasons. Here is where he lives and where he has his clinic as well as some of his favorite spots. João Espírito Santo, married and a father of three, enjoys traditional dishes and restaurants, but doesn’t pass up a family stroll along the ocean or close to the Rio Douro.

 

  • Bar 

Casa do Livro (R. da Galeria de Paris, 85 Porto)

Fé Wine & Club (Praça D. Filipa de Lencastre nº1)

  • Restaurant

Cepa Torta

  1. de Gondarém 843, Porto
  • A stroll

The gardens of Serralves

Or a bike ride from Foz to Afurada, crossing by boat and coming back through the ponte D. Luís (D. Luís bridge)

  • Romantic place

Jardins do Museu do Vinho Porto –  Rua de Monchique 94

  • A city secret (a place that is not well known)

Ham rolls at Casa Bacelar (Praça Dom Afonso V, 55, Porto) Hake fillets or Arroz de Cabidela (Cabidela rice) at the Restaurante A Capoeira (Esplanada do Castelo 63, Porto) Capela de Santa Teresinha (Chapel Santa Teresinha)

 

João Queiroz – Baixa’s architect
7 February, 2018 / , ,

Café Majestic is perhaps his most emblematic work. João Queiroz always worked alone in a small workshop in the Baixa do Porto, and helped define the aesthetics of one of the most famed areas of the city.

He was born in Porto in 1892, and lived all of his youth in a house in Rua de Santa Catarina in front of where Café Majestic currently stands. At the time, those grounds were filled with mulberry trees which were essential for the production of silk. They would come to be occupied by buildings that would become essential to the story of the city, many of them with the architect’s mark.

He did his Preparatory Course of Drawing at the Escola de Belas Artes do Porto and, in 1926, after having worked at the General Board of Buildings and Monuments of the North, received his architect diploma. He would go back to studying at age 52, enrolling in the course of Urbanology which had been created that same year. As his academic and professional lives were influenced by two world wars, he also developed a strong military career and getting to the position of Captain. He was, in fact, known as Capitão (Captain) Queiroz.

His first project was of a rationalist building he created for his father, located at the Rua de Santa Catarina, in Porto. It was there where he established the workshop he always worked from.

His most famed building was unquestionably the Café Majestic, which was initially called Café Elite. When the owners of the café decided to create a window in the back for the sale of newspapers, they resorted to the architect’s services once again. Both the Cine Teatro Olímpia and the Cinema Trindade are likewise his creations; he was also the author of a project for the Coliseu do Porto which ended not being carried out.

Amongst his creations were also private housing and stores. One of the most innovative ones, number 54 at Rua de Santa Catarina, had a circular window display which at the time did not please the most conservative critics. As for housing, number 65 at Rua António Aroso and number 315 at Rua António Patrício are the most conspicuous.

He died at the age of 90, on the 25th February 1982.

 

Marques da Silva – The architect of Porto
10 January, 2018 / ,

His work definitely stamps the city of Porto. From private homes, schools and even the iconic monument, Marques da Silva has helped build a more modern and more beautiful city.

Born on Costa Cabral Street in Porto, he died in the same city in 1947. José Marques da Silva was born, lived and died in Porto, but Paris and French aesthetics influenced him most. He began studying at the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, and later studied in École Nationale et Spéciale des Beaux-Arts.

He returned to Portugal in 1896, and almost immediately signed a project of great importance: the São Bento station. In fact, the Gare Central had been his final work in the Architecture course taken in Paris. However, the initial idea had to be reformulated successively, as the station would only be completed in 1916. Despite the fact that a work of such magnitude was handed to him – the city’s first railway station – demonstrates the prestige he already had in the early stages of his career. In 1900 he received a silver medal in the exhibition of Paris, which contributed to increase his national and international prestige.

Throughout his life, Marques da Silva signed several projects that modernized the face of the city. Rarely do you find buildings which fuse aesthetics with functionality and which are sprinkled throughout the city, from Baixa to Serralves.

He was also a professor and director at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Porto and the School of Applied Art Soares Reis. He was also the author of important works in Guimarães and Barcelos.

Some emblematic works in Oporto:

São Bento Station (1896-1916)

Building of the Four Seasons (1905), Rua das Carmelitas

Atelier Marques da Silva (1909), Marquês de Pombal Square

Monument of the Heroes of the Peninsular War (1909), Rotunda da Boavista

São João National Theater (1910-1920), in Praça da Batalha

Building of the Nascimento Department Stores, (1914-1927), corner of Rua de Santa Catarina and Passos Manuel

Lyceum Alexandre Herculano (1914-1931), on Avenida Camilo

Sobrinho Simões – An Oporto citizen who is a reason of pride for the city
5 December, 2017 / ,

In 2015 the magazine ThePatologist chose him as the most influential pathologist in the world. Manuel Sobrinho Simões is a passionate about Porto and one of the great reasons of pride of the city where he was born in 1947.

Recognized worldwide not only for his work done in the area of ​​thyroid cancer, but also for the pathology schools that he assisted in establishing around the world. Founder of IPATIMUP (Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto) – an internationally recognized research unit that annually conducts hundreds of diagnostic consultations for hospitals and oncology institutes in Europe and America – he is a real workaholic, but always attentive and concerned with the great issues of the world around him.

He was born into a medical family: his great-grandfather and grandfather had been doctors and his father was a professor and researcher in the field of biochemistry. He was born in Paranhos, studied in the area of ​​Antas and Alexandre Herculano Lyceum, before enrolling in medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto. He continued excelling as he had been in high school; his academic career was always marked by excellent marks, having won several awards of merit.

An avid member of FC Porto, he also played hockey in Estrela and Vigorosa Sport and was champion of ping-pong at university.

It was at the University of Porto that he took a liking to Pathology. His love of travel had grown since he was young, thanks to prizes of academic merit and some help from his grandfather. After his marriage, he did a post-doctoral in Oslo, Norway and it would be from this international experience that he would become known internationally.

In addition to collaborating with universities and hospitals around the world, he is the author and co-author of hundreds of articles. At the age of 70, he continues to have an intense rhythm of work, but without neglecting his grandchildren and the rest of the family, with whom he likes to spend his free time. As a child he played in the garden of Arca d’Água, but currently he prefers cycling in the City Park.