Portuguese violinist Carla Santos was awarded in 2009 a place at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London, studying with Professor Radu Blidar for her Master Degree in Performance. In the year 2011-2012, as a RCM Scholar, Carla Santos pursued her studies for an Artist Diploma, with the same teacher. During these three years, Carla joined the RCM Symphony Orchestra, where she had the opportunity to work with some renowned conductors, such as Diego Masson, Sian Edwards, Rory MacDonald, Mikk Murdvee, Franck Ollu, Vladimir Jurowski, Lorin Maazel and Bernard Hiatink.
Carla Santos was admitted in 1995 into the Conservatório de Música Calouste Gulbenkian in Aveiro, in Ana Sofia Mota’s class.
In 2003, she joined the Youth Symphonic Orchestra of Santa Maria da Feira, where she was indicated as concertino. In 2006 she played twice as a soloist with this orchestra, under the direction of the conductor Ernst Schelle.
Carla concluded her Conservatory studies with the maximum classification in 2004, having received the Fundação Pascoal Award for best instrument student in that year. In the same year, she performed Bruch’s Concerto No 1 with Orquestra Filarmonia das Beiras, under the direction of Daniel Rowland.
In 2005 she was admitted at Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra in Lisbon, where she studied with Ágnes Sárosi, and graduated in 2009. During this period, Carla collaborated with several orchestras including Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, Orquestra de Câmara de Sintra, Lisbon Film Orchestra, Orquestra Académica Metropolitana and Momentum Perpetuum, having worked with many conductors including Alberto Lysy, Jean-Marc Burfin, Joana Carneiro, Martin André, Jean-Sebastian Berreau, Pablo Heras-Casado and Michael Zilm.
December 2008 she played as a soloist with her school’s Orchestra, performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto nr 4.
Carla participated in numerous Masterclasses given by Gerardo Ribeiro, Valentin Stefanov, Sebastian See-Schierenberg, Max Rabinowitsj, Daniel Rowland, Aníbal Lima, Angel Sampedro, Radu Unguereanu, Gilles Apap, David Frühwirth, Marco Rizzi and Liviu Prunaru.
Carla Santos is a member of the Dryads Duo, together with Portuguese pianist Saul Picado.
The Dryads Duo, formed in 2010, participated in the 25th edition of the “Prémio Jovens Músicos” Competition in Portugal (2011) and was awarded the First Prize.
Since then, the Dryads Duo have performed in the major concert halls across Portugal, including Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Casa da Música and Centro Cultural de Belém.
Also in September 2012, they presented their first CD with works by Janáček, Ravel and Enescu.
In London, they have performed at St Peter’s – Notting Hill, St Mary Abbots and Norfolk House Music Room at The Victoria & Albert Museum, St. James’ Piccadilly and St. Martin in the Fields.
Future engagements of the Duo include recitals in Aylesbury, London and Bordeaux.
“…When studying in London, I had the pleasure to work with an amazing and inspirational teacher, who was able to polish my artistic self in a very special way, making me the musician I am now. Because of this, I know the importance of a good teacher in a student’s life. It is my duty as a teacher to inspire students to explore and express their inner-self in the most artistic possible way, always respecting their uniqueness. That is why teaching is something I feel very passionate about, considering it also very rewarding.”