When the first edition of a festival runs the way our Atlantic Sound Encounters did in 2021, the responsibility is proportional to the success. Now that we have reached 2022, we are faced with the inevitable dilemma of the second seasons: how to ensure continuity and innovation in a consistent and balanced way? How can we build on what has already been built, while taking risks?

The ideas which were the basis for the inaugural edition of Encontros remain unchanged: a deep connection to the Azores, the land of origin of Francisco de Lacerda, and to its places and communities; and, starting from the tutelary figure of the Azorean composer, a determined bet on our music and our musicians, with a special emphasis on the new generation of creators and performers.

But, in this year's edition of the Encounters, we have the ambition to go further. We want to strengthen our ties with the local artistic community, giving the stage to Azorean performers, and reinforcing partnerships with their institutions. We want to take the public to discover other unique spaces, through unusual and surprising concerts; and we want to intensify our fierce and unwavering commitment to Portuguese musical creation, without aesthetic prejudice.

The programme that results from this commitment is exciting and diverse: we will have the rediscovery of Lacerda's (rarely heard) music for strings, in the place where it all began; and of his beautiful Fanfares, in a stimulating programme of new Iberian music; a sound voyage through the memory of the Atlantic, inspired by various musical languages; a concert filled almost entirely by Portuguese composers still in activity; a unique performance-installation for cello and electronics; and we will also have the world premiere of the winner of the recently created Francisco de Lacerda Composition Prize (which we are proud to say is the biggest prize for young composers in Portugal today). This premiere will take place at the beautiful closing orchestral concert of the Encounters, a concert full of geographical and temporal bridges. Finally, still at the Encounters, we will present the initial result of a parallel, but closely related project: the first volume of a critical edition of Francisco de Lacerda's orchestral music - a hard editorial work, which will finally fill a long-standing gap in the treatment of his orchestral estate.

In times of turmoil like the ones we are currently living in, art and culture play an essential role in our community life: they are perhaps the most effective way of fighting against barbarism, of replacing dehumanisation by empathy, of taking us a little further away from the abyss. But for them to do so, they need to be supported in a coherent and sustained way, which allows artists to experiment, fail and start again - and then fail better. At Associação Francisco de Lacerda, we see the second edition of the Encontros as another step in that direction towards a sustained support for Portuguese music and culture. A step which, we hope, will be the second of many.

Vasco Mendonça
June 2022




Filipa Lacerda,
António Câmara Manuel


Vasco Mendonça


Mafalda Oliveira


Ana Calheiros Soalheiro


Helena Marteleira

Inês von Hafe Pérez


Francisco de Lacerda
A Música e o Mundo Associação Cultural

Associação Francisco de Lacerda