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        O Bando de Surunyo is an early music ensemble specialised in the performance of 16th and 17th century music. The name is borrowed from a Portuguese villancico de negro written in the 1640’s meaning “a chattering of starlings”. The ensemble is the performative and laboratorial front of a multidisciplinary project which focuses mainly on unpublished and unknown repertoire from Portuguese sources; since its creation, O Bando de Surunyo has performed over 30 pieces as modern premiers. The project has, nevertheless, a wider scope, having as its main goal to deliver to todays’ audiences the plurality, eclecticism and richness of European Renaissance and Baroque thought and music.

        The preparation of works for performance is supported by a process of thorough musicological research involving a detailed study of cultural and interpretative context, critical edition of the music directly from the original sources (by the director of the ensemble), and a careful observation of historically informed performance practices.

The intimate relation between word and sound that emerged in the transition from the 16th to the 17th centuries is the central axis for O Bando de Surunyo’s approach to the study and performance of the repertoire. Music placed itself at the service of the text, conveying, illustrating and enhancing the latter’s poetic and affective content. The eloquent and efficacious communication of this content in its multiple readings and functions -— literal, theatrical, historical, symbolical, religious, political and philosophical — constitutes the basis for the construction of an interpretative conception which pursues today the same rhetorical goal of the time: to amuse and to move the audience through word, gesture and sound. In Cicero’s famous words: docere, delectare, movere. The project therefore aims at a wide aesthetical and communicative reach, which, using historical instruments and performance practices, aspires to a result that is both artistically and emotionally meaningful for contemporary audiences.

        O Bando de Surunyo is directed by Hugo Sanches (PhD summa cum laude - Musical Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Coimbra; MMus & BMus - Performance, Early Music, Lute, Oporto College of Music, ESMAE; PgD - Music Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Oporto). His professional activity covers performance, teaching and research, specializing in the 16th and 17th centuries in the fields of performance practice, aesthetics, and musical theory and thought. He is guest professor in the Early Music Department at ESMAE, where he teaches historical performance practice and theory, lute, chamber music, and basso continuo. He is a researcher at the Centre of Classical and Humanistic Studies of the University of Coimbra, where he devotes himself mainly to the study and edition of unpublished Iberian 17th century repertoire.

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