João Fonseca e Costa (1994), born in Ponta Delgada (Azores, Portugal), began his musical studies at the Conservatório Regional de Ponta Delgada in Violin, with Lídia Medeiros, and later in Viola, with Shelly Ross, finishing the Conservatory in 2012, with a final grade of 17.
In the same year, he started his studies in the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa (ESML), where he worked with Luís Tinoco, Sérgio Azevedo, António Pinho Vargas, Carlos Caires, Carlos Marecos, Roberto Pérez and Carlos Fernandes, concluding the Bachelor´s Degree in Composition in 2015. During this period, he participated in several composition seminars, including masterclasses with the composer Luigi Abbate.
Of his repertoire already released stands out Retorno (2017) for Solo Violin, an order from Antena 2 for the 31st edition of Prémio Jovens Músicos, Saudade (2016) for ensemble, De Profundis (2016) for Choir and Wind Orchestra, Magnum Mysterium (2015) for Choir SATB a capella, Enigma (2014) for Solo Clarinet and Açores, descoberta de um novo mundo (2014) for Symphonic Orchestra. With this last work, he won the ESML composition´s competition for Symphonic Orchestra in 2014. In 2016, he recorded his work Enigma for Solo Clarinet for the CD “Novos Caminhos” (New paths) of the Chamber Orchestra of Cascais and Oeiras, which was publicly released in 2017. In the same year, he was a FCT Research Fellow at CESEM - Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical/IPL-ESML Pole, under the guidance of Carlos Caires.
Parallel to the composition, he has been working as a singer (bass) since 2009, which began in Azores with Orfeão Edmundo Machado Oliveira and J.S. Bach Choirs. Later, between 2012 and 2017, he became a member of the ESML Chamber and Symphonic Choirs, conducted by Paulo Lourenço and, since 2015, of the Ricercare Choir, conducted by Pedro Teixeira. With these choirs he participated in several concerts and choral festivals in Portugal and abroad, including the International Summer Choral Festival in Centro Cultural de Belém, International Music Festival of Ankara, Setúbal Music Festival, Eternal Voices Concert in Madrid, among others. He participated in the 1st workshop of the Gulbenkian Choir in 2016, culminating in a concert directed by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel. In 2017 he participated with Ecce Ensemble Choir, in two international choral festivals in China, that were organized by the Internacional Federation for Choral Music (IFCM).
In 2014 he performed for the first time as a solo singer, with the University of Lisbon´s Choir, singing “Messe de Minuit” of Charpentier and “Romancero Gitano” of Mario Castelnuevo Tedesco, conducted by Luís Almeida. In 2016 and 2017 he was soloist with Syphonic Choir and Symphonic Orchestra of ESML, where he performed “Requiem für Mignon” of Schumann, “Lauda Sion” of Mendelssohn, “Salmo CL” of Eurico Carrapatoso and “Chichester Psalms” of Leonard Bernestein, with the direction of Vasco Azevedo and Paulo Lourenço, respectively.
He is the creator of “Peças Frescas – Edição Açores”, a project with the intention of the young national composers can present their pieces in Azores, and the project already has four editions. Since 2017 , he is the director of Nova Era Vocal Ensemble.
He currently teaches private composition classes and has singing lessons with Joana Nascimento. He has been a professional choirmaster at the Gulbenkian Choir since 2017 and is also a member of the Ricercare, Ecce Ensemble, New Age Choirs, Vocal Ensemble Desafinados and Organum Vocale.