In order to encourage the creation, interpretation and dissemination of new musical works, the Casa de Mateus Foundation, the Sond'Ar-te Electric Ensemble and blablaLab AC are launching the 1st edition of an international competition that aims to promote the writing of new Lied, diversifying the possibilities of combining the voice with an instrument, valorising the composition for voice (soprano) accompanied by the instruments of the Sond'Ar-te formation and the possibility of including electroacoustic means. In the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Alvaro Garcia de Zúñiga, we are proposing the texts of this Portuguese author, director and musician of Uruguayan origin, founder of blablaLab AC. Following the announcement of the competition and the careful selection of candidate projects, the programme ends in 2024 with a creative residency and the public presentation of the winning compositions.


The compositions submitted must be written for a duo, in a combination chosen between the soprano voice and the following instruments, with or without electronics: flute, clarinet, violin, cello or piano. The choice of texts should focus on the work of Alvaro García de Zúñiga.

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Alvaro García de Zúñiga (Montevideo, 1958 - Lisbon, 2014) is a Portuguese writer, director and composer of Uruguayan origin. Primarily trained in music (violin and composition with Norbert Brainin, Amadeus Quartet, Sergio Prieto, Roque de Pedro, etc.), musical theater led him to "theater tout court" and from there to other literatures. The author of plays, screenplays, an opera adaptation, various works of prose and poetry, his writing led him to directing theater, film and radio. For the poet Alvaro García de Zúñiga, language (and languages) are the raw material of his work. A musical, visual language, a language invented, emptied, destroyed and rebuilt, generating multiple sounds/senses.

A language without a specific nationality that enjoys crossing paths with other languages and inverting linguistic conventions. An elastic language in which norms are not imposed and differences are welcome. A foreign language, logical and sonorous. Many of his texts have been staged by the author or have been the subject of public readings.

He has premiered plays such as Teatro Impossível (ACARTE, 1998), O Teatro é Puro Cinema (TNDMII, 1999), Conferência de Imprensa (TNSJ, 2007; SLTM, 2012), RadiOthello (Teatro am Neumarkt Zurich, 2008). He has directed short and medium-length films, radio plays and acoustic art. 

The use of the texts is exclusive to the works in the competition. The poet and multidisciplinary artist Alvaro García de Zuñíga, author of the texts for this competition, approached poetic writing in a multilingual way, so that translations of these texts into other languages are also possible. However, translations (whether personal, chatGPT or any automatic translator) must be identified in the scores, in order to distinguish the authorship of the text in its original version, from the authorship of the resulting translations. For the author it was of the utmost importance to "Copy honestly"!

Iris ter Schiphorst


As a composer, Iris ter Schiphorst is influenced by years of experience as a classical pianist, a bass player, percussionist, keyboard player and sound engineer in various rock and pop bands. Her list of works covers all genres, including thirteen major orchestral works premiered by renowned orchestras in Germany and abroad (including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, the South West German Radio Orchestra, the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, the BBC Symphony Orchestra of London, the BBC Symphony Orchestra of Glasgow, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and others), numerous full-length musical theatre works, and a variety of film music. Since the late 1980s, this list has also included a range of multimedia works. Read more

Philippe Leroux


Philippe Leroux was born in Boulogne sur Seine (France) in 1959. In 1978, he entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in the classes of Ivo Malec, Claude Ballif, Pierre Schäeffer and Guy Reibel, where he won three first prizes. During this period, he also studied with Olivier Messiaen, Franco Donatoni, Betsy Jolas, Jean-Claude Eloy and Iannis Xénakis. In 1993, he was appointed resident at the Villa Médicis (Prix de Rome), where he stayed until October 1995. Philippe Leroux's music, which is always lively and often full of surprises, is marked by an original use of striking sound gestures which are organised into a rich relational network. Read more

Miguel Azguime


Miguel Azguime was born in 1960 in Lisbon. Distinguished for originality and diversity, his musical world reflects an approach that relies on his multifaceted capabilities as composer, performer and poet. This threefold activity closely reflects an almost mystical vision of music and art. Miguel Azguime studied at the Academia de Amadores de Música (1966-76), while also attending the Lisbon Conservatory. From 1975 to 1982 he studied percussion with Catarina Latino and Júlio Campos and founded various groups performing jazz and improvised music. In 1984 he went to Darmstadt, where he studied percussion with James Wood and composition with Horatiu Radulescu, Brian Ferneyhough and Clarence Barlow. He also attended seminars with Emmanuel Nunes, Cristóbal Halffter and Tristan Murail. Between 1985 and 1986 he studied percussion with Gaston Sylvestre in Paris and Nice. Read more

The Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble is an innovative contemporary music ensemble in the European new music scene. Its core structure is the permanent combination of 5 to 7  acoustic instruments (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano + viola + percussion + voice) with electronics relying on the Miso Studio’s technical expertise.

The Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble’s repertoire covers some of the most important works for ensemble up to 5 and 8 instruments of the 20th and 21st centuries. One of the key features of this project is the commission of new works, hence encouraging the strong and vibrant development of contemporary chamber music with electronics, with a special attention given to Portuguese creation.

The Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble  composed by a young generation pool of exceptional musicians with individual careers as soloists, has gained since his premiere in September 2007 an outstanding artistic level and is already a reference in Portugal and abroad. In addition to its concert circulation around Portugal, Paris, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, City of London Festival, Seoul, Tokyo and Berlin, the Sond’Ar-te is strongly involved in media music theatre projects, in the development of educational  activities such as the Forum for Young Composers and nurturing new audiences by presenting special programmes for children.

The Casa de Mateus Foundation was set up in 1970 by D. Francisco de Sousa Botelho de Albuquerque. It is a private institution with public service missions in the areas of heritage, culture, art, education and scientific dissemination with a unique location in a low-density territory. At the centre of its action, we find the intersection between historical heritage, natural heritage, arts and innovation, reinforcing the perception of the value of cultural instruments and local action to overcome major global issues; or the confluence between cultural action, landscape and territory, from a sustainability perspective, involving people and communities in the emerging thinking about new forms of relationship with natural resources.

For the 2023/2024 biennium, the Casa de Mateus Foundation is proposing a multidisciplinary programme that starts with the visual arts, music, literature and dance and weaves through the infinite intersections between culture, artistic creation, educational projects and scientific dissemination.

With the support of the Ministry of Culture, through the Directorate-General for the Arts, and the Municipality of Vila Real, and persisting in its collaboration with an important group of institutional and artistic partners, the Casa de Mateus Foundation is calling on artists and creators from multiple backgrounds to develop strategies for transmitting artistic practices and forms of enjoyment that have a significant potential for transformation and, above all, invites citizens to take their landscapes as a place for permanent dialogue between memory and the creation of the new.

blablaLab Associação Cultural is a multidisciplinary language laboratory that fields on the work, inspiration and methodologies proposed by Alvaro García de Zúñiga and Teresa Albuquerque since 1996. Focused mainly on the intersections between music and theatre, performance art and concrete poetry, always with links to the visual arts, blablaLab's work navigates between different media, from the scene to publishing or radio stages, from the Manuel source-book to its realization in the 'Manuel Sur Scène', an infinitely open form that privileges the meeting of artistic languages and the mutual provocation between languages.

In 1963, Fluxus artist Robert Filliou declared that art was born on 17 January, 1 million years before, at the moment one of the first human beings threw a sponge into a bucket of water. On this same day, 1,000,061 years later, on the same day that we would be celebrating Alvaro García de Zúñiga's 66th birthday, blablaLab starts the AGZ X programme, which is to mark 10 years since his death. And takes the opportunity to offer art and the idea of a permanent party evoked by Robert Filliou some of his polymorphic, polyphonic and polyglot writing, made to be said and heard: BAB-EL, a composition by Daniel Schvetz based on texts by AGZ, in the voices of many of his friends and fellow artists: Alínea B Issilva, Arnaud Churin, Dominique Parent, Eduardo Raon, Emmanuela Pace, Fernán García de Zúñiga, Fernando Mora Ramos, José Luís Ferreira, Leopold von Verschuer, Luciana Fina, Margarita Presno Marinoni, Maristela Svampa, Miguel Azguime, Natalia Wachsman.



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