Catarina Vilar was born in Lisbon.
Having started her musical education studies at an early age, she went on to study piano at the Academia de Amadores de Música with Prof. Madalena Sá Pessoa and at the Escola de Música do Conservatório Nacional with Prof. Ana Maria de Sousa Lima.
Catarina studied Psychology at the Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação and holds a degree and a teaching diploma in Music Theory from the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa.
She participated in piano master classes with Helena Sá e Costa, Sequeira Costa and Edson Elias and training programmes on Music Theory Pedagogy with João Pinheiro. She has also attended dance classes with Maurízio Padovan and visual arts courses with Irina Raimundo.
Since 1998 she has taught at the Escolas da Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, Escola de Música do Conservatório Nacional in Lisbon and Conservatório de Música D. Dinis in Odivelas. She was tutor of Undergraduate and Masters programmes at Instituto Piaget and Universidade de Aveiro.
More recently she has created the Jardim da Música at the Academia de Música de Lisboa, which is a project dedicated to introducing and nurturing the enjoyment of learning music to young children aged 2 to 5.
Currently, she is head of Music Theory departments at both the Academia de Música de Lisboa and the Academia de Música de Santa Cecília, in Lisbon.