David de Souza (1880-1918)

David de Souza was born on 6th May 1880 in Figueira da Foz. He did his musical studies in the Lisbon National Conservatory, where he studied violoncello under Eduardo Wagner and Cunha e Silva and musical theory under Freitas Gazul.           

In 1904, having been awarded a scholarship by the Portuguese state, he went to Germany where, in the Leipzig Conservatory, he studied with one of the most famous violoncellists of the time: Julius Klengel.               

Once back in Portugal, David de Souza made his début as a conductor in 1913 in a concert in the Portuguese National Theatre. Shortly afterwards, he was engaged as Principal Conductor of the Lisbon Symphony Orchestra, formed at that time and based in the Politiema Theatre.           

With a passionate temperament, natural gifts and a great power of communication with the public, David de Souza conquered a vast audience and had a myriad of admirers. From his enormous repertoire there stand out the innumerable modern compositions he interpreted for the first time in Portugal, as for example: the second Symphony by Vincent D’Indy, the “Valses Nobles et Sentimentales” by Maurice Ravel and the Symphonic Poem “After a reading of Antero de Quental” by Luís de Freitas Branco. Passionate for Russian music, he also interpreted innumerable works by composers from that country for the first time to the Portuguese public.     

In 1916 the National Conservatory appointed David de Souza as their violoncello teacher and teacher of their orchestra, while at the same time retaining the position of Principal Conductor of the Lisbon Symphony Orchestra.                

In his works, eminently nationalistic, appear compositions for the piano, for voice and piano, for violin and piano and for violoncello and piano, apart from a good number of orchestral works like: the “Slavic Rhapsody” or the Symphonic Poem “Babilónia”. David de Souza also wrote an opera that has never been performed: “Inês de Castro.”                   

David de Souza died on 3rd October 1918 in Figueira da Foz, a victim of pneumonic fever.   


António Ferreira

This composer has 11 works on AvA:

Strings (7)

Voice (3)

Piano (1)