Joly Braga SANTOS (1924-1988)
Joly Braga Santos was born on the 14th of May 1924 in Lisbon, Portugal. He studied violin and composition at the National Conservatory, where he was a student of Luís and Pedro de Freitas Branco. The latter was the main responsible for promoting his work around the world.
During his youth, Joly Braga Santos took inspiration in Portuguese traditional music, namely folklore and Renaissance polyphony. These influences are clear in the first four symphonies he composed between his 22nd and his 27th year of age, and which were almost immediately performed by the National Radio Broadcast Company''s Symphonic Orchestra.
In 1948 he was a Higher Culture Institute scholarship holder, having then studied musicology and composition in Venice with Virgílio Mortari, Gioacchino Pasquali and Alceo Galliera. At that time he also attended the International Conduction Course with Hermann Scherchen, where he was a colleague of Luigi Nono, Bruno Maderna and Fernando Corrêa de Oliveira. Again in Portugal, Joly dedicated himself for a long period to orchestra conduction. He only started again to compose more regularly after 1960, having then written his fifth and sixth symphonies.
Besides his vast musical legacy, Joly Braga Santos also had an intense activity as a music critic. He was a founding member of the Portuguese Musical Youth, lectured in Composition at Lisbon''s National Conservatory, worked at the National Radio Broadcast Company''s Musical Studies Cabinet, and was a conductor of the S. Carlos National Theatre Orchestra, of the Porto Symphonic Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Portuguese Radio Broadcast Symphony Orchestra.
Joly Braga Santos died in Lisbon on the 18th of July 1988.