Saturday 19 June 1971


Born: February 5th, 1913, Lisbon (Portugal)
Died: August 18th, 1967, Lisbon (Portugal)
Nationality: Portuguese

In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview


Studying at the National Conservatory in Lisbon, Fernando de Carvalho was taught by, amongst others, Luís de Freitas Branco (1890-1955), perhaps the most important classical composer Portugal has ever produced. During his relatively short life, De Carvalho wrote quite a stunning number of works, ranging from more than twenty operettas to over one-hundred revue songs; amongst those the complete score of ‘Cala o bico!’ (1954). Some of his songs were interpreted by the legendary fado queen Amália Rodrigues, most notably ‘Tudo isto é fado’ (lyrics by Aníbal Nazaré) and ‘Fui ao Baile’ (lyrics by Amadeu do Vale). From 1946 onwards, he was regularly commissioned to work as a conductor for Portuguese radio, and later television, broadcasts.


In 1965, Fernando de Carvalho was commissioned by the Portuguese broadcaster to be the musical director of the Grande Prémio, as the preliminaries in Portugal were then referred to. He conducted all eight songs in the competition, to all of which he had, moreover, penned the original orchestration. The participating artists were António Calvário (three songs), Simone de Oliveira, Artur Garcia (each two songs) and Madalena Iglésias. The winning song was ‘Sol de inverno’, arranged by Thilo Krasmann and performed by Simone de Oliveira. De Carvalho also conducted this effort in the subsequent international Eurovision final, staged in Naples, Italy. It was Portugal’s second participation in the contest; because, however, the year before no conductor had been sent along with soloist António Calvário, Fernando de Carvalho became the first ever Portuguese conductor to perform on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The year after, in 1966, Fernando de Carvalho changed roles, this time participating in the Portuguese heats as a composer. Teaming up with lyricist Jerónimo Bragança, he submitted ‘Rebeldia’, a thrilling melody which is a lasting testimony to his composing talent. Performed by Madalena Iglésias, the song came third.


Jorge Costa Pinto played as a drummer in Fernando de Carvalho’s big band for some time in the 1950s. “It was special for me to join Fernando de Carvalho’s orchestra, as he had been a fellow-student of my father at conservatory in the 1920s. Maestro de Carvalho was a nice man as well as a very good conductor and composer. Some of the songs he wrote are very interesting; 'Rebeldia' is a good example - a fine ballad.” (2018)


Country – Portugal
Song title – "Sol de inverno"
Rendition – Simone de Oliveira
Lyrics – Jeronimo Bragança
Composition – Carlos Nóbrega e Sousa
Studio arrangement – Thilo Krasmann
(studio orchestra conducted by Thilo Krasmann)
Live orchestration – Fernando de Carvalho
Conductor – Fernando de Carvalho
Score – 13th place (1 vote)

  • Many thanks to Jorge Costa Pinto for sharing with us his memories of working with Fernando de Carvalho

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