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António Saiote is an honorary member in the ICA


The nomination was achieved by unanimous vote during the International Clarinet Association (ICA) congress

"It is a great honor, in addition to a great responsibility", says maestro António Saiote, one of the few European clarinetists to appear on the list of honorary members of the International Clarinet Association (ICA), an award that mainly includes American musicians. "I was 54 when I was nominated" - he explains - "it was, therefore, an unexpected surprise, it is not usual to grant the nomination to musicians under 65".

Professor at the Superior School of Music and Performing Arts (ESMAE) of the Polytechnic of Porto, the appointment was justified by the "excellent artistic and pedagogical services provided on four continents, over thirty countries and nationalities and for having led the Portuguese clarinet school to the level of the best ". "Being a member is like receiving the Pritzker in architecture” - he says with pride.

Born in Loures, in 1960, António Saiote is a world renowned artist and educator. He finished the course at the National Conservatory with a grade of 20 in 1979. At just 13 years old he was a soloist in the Portugal Youth Symphony Orchestra, representing the country in the World Youth Orchestra in 1977 (Korea and Japan), in 1982 (Hungary) and 1983 (Spain).

He received a scholarship from the Gulbenkian Foundation in Paris and Munich where he obtained the Meisterdiplom with distinction. He was a soloist in the orchestra of the National Theater of São Carlos and in the Régie Sinfónica where he was the only Portuguese soloist. For 11 years he was a member of the Lisbon Contemporary Music Group with Jorge Peixinho. He was also a member of the jury at the prestigious competitions in Toulon, Constancia, Seville and president of Valentino Buchi in Rome. Also as a soloist he participated in concerts in the USA, Belgium, France, Sweden and Japan.

He is artistic director and principal conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of ESMAE and artistic director of the International Meeting of Clarinet Marcos Romão dos Reis Jr. He played with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Portuguese Symphony, Classical Orchestra of Porto, Régie Sinfónica, Rádio Lisboa e Porto, São Paulo, Shanghai, Beiras Philharmonic, Northern Orchestra, Algarve Symphony Orchestra and Zurich Symphony Orchestra.

Since 1998 he has developed, in parallel, a fruitful career as a maestro, having directed all Portuguese orchestras, as well as orchestras in Spain, Venezuela, France and Germany.

He directed operas such as L'Amore Industrioso, by Sousa Carvalho; Il Boticário, by Haydn; Amor de Perdição, by João Arroyo; Die sieben Todsünden, by Kurt Weill; O Doido e a Morte, by Alexandre Delgado; Pierrot Lunaire, by Schoenberg; Cosi Fan Tutte, by Mozart; and L'Heure espagnole, by Ravel.

He has been a jury member in the prestigious competitions in Toulon, Constância, Seville, Warsaw, Caracas, Kortrik, Ghent, Brasília, and president of the Valentino Buchi competition in Rome. He also holds the title of “Latin American Personality of the Clarinet”, by the ClariPeru Association and was awarded the Medal of Honor of the Municipality of Loures.

He was a mentor and co-organizer of the 2009 Clarinet World Congress, in Porto, and was artistic director of the Festival and Academia of Guimarães. He has worked or taught in more than thirty countries in Asia, Europe, America and North Africa.

In the most uncertain year in recent history, António Saiote celebrated 50 years of a magnificent career, which projected ESMAE as one of the world references in the area of the clarinet. Meanwhile, the clarinet player is preparing a new album, with no expected release date, due to the pandemic.