Photo by Vitorino Coragem
Gonçalo Gato was born in Lisbon, Portugal. His works have been performed in the UK, Germany, France, Portugal and Brazil. As a composer, Gonçalo has worked with some of UK’s foremost orchestras: the London Symphony Orchestra, which publicly rehearsed Fantasia (2017), written while taking part on the Panufnik Scheme, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, whose musicians premiered his octet Vacuum Instability (2013), and the Britten Sinfonia, developing the piece Colour Matters (2016) after having been shortlisted in the OPUS 2016 competition. In Portugal, the Sinfónica do Porto Orchestra (Casa da Música) has recently premiered Ex machina colores (2018), written as part of an artistic residency. He has also worked with distinguished ensembles such as Remix Ensemble (Portugal), for which he wrote #where_we’re_going (2018), Ensemble Recherche (Germany), for which he wrote A Walk in the Countryside (2016), Chroma Ensemble (UK), for which he wrote Dégradé (2012), and Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble (Portugal), which recently premiered Equilíbrio (2017).
Gonçalo has had the chance to work with distinguished conductors such as François-Xavier Roth, Baldur Brönnimann, Peter Rundel and Richard Baker. Before moving to London in 2011, Gonçalo was awarded first prize on two occasions: in 2011 with the piece Vectorial-modular, for orchestra, and in 2008 with the piece Derivação, for piano. His short opera Mudos (2008) was also distinguished and staged in one of Lisbon’s main theatres.
As a composer-researcher, Gonçalo has been most active in the field of computer-assisted composition. He recently finished his doctoral degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the supervision of Julian Anderson, researching how the use of computerised processes affects compositional decision-making. This research led to the publication of a chapter in the OM Composer’s Book 3 (2016), published by IRCAM (Paris), an institution where he has received training and where he was invited to present ongoing research. He is now exploring computer-assisted orchestration as the orchestra has become an important medium to express his musical ideas.