“Rúbia Santos is a performer who leaves the audience stunned by her provocative pianism as well as her enthusiastic temperament”
(Frankfurter Algemeine Journal, Germany)
Brazilian Pianist Rúbia Santos placed among the most sought-after collaborative pianists from her home country. She is represented by Virtuosi Produções Artísticas
Santos’ performances include the standard classical repertoire, yet she is strongly devoted to presenting works in collaboration with contemporary American and Brazilian composers. She has received many awards and reviews recognizing her unique work as a collaborative pianist as well as her passionate commitment to making her native music accessible to a broad audience. This passion has led her to the forefront of performance and research of Brazilian music. In 2012, Santos’ editions of Eight Art Songs and Eight Piano Pieces by Brazilian contemporary composer, Edmundo Villani-Côrtes, was first published through Ponteio Publishing Inc. in New York. Audio selections of the
published piano solo pieces are available on this website.
Santos’ love for poetry and her exceptional knowledge of languages has taken her into various collaborations with bel canto artists. Among them are Christiane Oelze, Deborah Domanski, Laura de Souza,
David Dillard, Melanie Ohm, and Luciano Simões.
Santos has premiered various works by South and North American composers, some of them dedicated to her. She gave
the recording premieres of the Sonatas for Viola and Piano by Paul Chihara and E. Villani-Côrtes, and Trumpet Songs by Jennifer Higdon. Among her recordings are “Chamber Music of Jennifer Higdon" (Albany Records) “Moyugba Orisha” (White Pine Music Label), “A Brazilian Collection” (Tijuca Label), and music by
Brazilian composers M. Camargo Guarnieri and Lina Pires de Campos.
In 2013, Santos became a certified teacher for the Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement (ATM). She is focusing on the application of the method for young musicians and pianists.
Currently, Ms. Santos is a faculty member at Metro State University in Denver, a chamber music coach for PYCh (Project Youth and Chamber Music) in Fort Collins, and a vocal coach in Colorado. Ms. Santos is a frequent adjudicator and presenter at MTNA, the College Music Society, and the Mediterranean Studies Association. Previous to the MSU appointment, she was on the faculty at Central Michigan University and the University of Wyoming. She has been a presenter, committee member, and adjudicator for MTNA, the College Music Society, and Mediterranean Studies Association.
After her piano studies with Lina Pires de Campos in Brazil she moved to Germany where she earned her artist diploma in piano solo at the Hochschüle für Musik in Cologne, mentored by Günter
Ludwig (solo piano), Hartmut Höll (liedbegleitung), and the Amadeus Quartet (chamber music). She holds a masters and a doctor of musical arts degree in collaborative piano from Arizona State University,
having studied with Eckart Selheim (collaborative piano), William Reber (opera), and Caio Pagano (piano).
International scholarship involving Brazilian culture and music has attracted the attention of a large audience. Contemporary Brazilian composers are commissioned to write works for small,
as well as, large ensembles, including theatrical works, such as operas. The purpose of such commissions is to aim, in particular, for performances and recordings. The literature is imprinted with
lyric and percussive sonorities, both qualities favored among native composers.
A great number of the repertoire includes music for piano and guitar, the most popular instruments in the country. The Brazilian art song genre has increased in number because the language has unique
musical inflection. Many poets and composers have worked together to create intimate works, regardless of whether the music or the text was written first.
Many Brazilian Music Societies were established in the 20th century, to bring awareness about music styles, opening venues for composers and interpreters who were interested in popularizing the
literature. As a pianist, I have found it extremely rewarding to promote Brazilian music and I am passionate about divulging the extensive repertoire that includes piano in chamber music and vocal works in
addition to solo pieces.
I have pursued eagerly opportunities to bring Brazilian music to a large audience by performing and teaching. Here, the viewer can explore various resources and check out links and my repertoire related
to Brazilian art music. ENJOY!
Duo Braziliana researches and performs Brazilian and Latin American art song. Pianist Rúbia Santos and mezzo-soprano Melani Ohm met at Arizona State University. Since then, both artist have passionately
shared their interest for the culture of South America, in particular its weatlh of music and literature. In 2002 Santos and Ohm began collaborating and reseraching works by Brazilian composers of the past and present.
The Duo’s international debut was in Genoa, Italy, during the 2006 Mediterranean Studies Association Conference. Santos’ edition of Eight Art Songs by contemporary Brazilian composer Edmundo Villani-Côrtes was released in 2012.
In 2003 Brazilian singers and researchers started revisiting and discussing about guidelines for singing texts in Brazilian Portuguese language. From that first encounter came a strong interestet and
profound scholarly work to publish norms of pronunciation and transcription. The Norms for Lyric Diciton of Brazilian Portuguese were revised and finalized in 2007. Below, you can see a short section of
the normative table. The complete source is published on the Jounal of Singing, Volume 65, no. 2 by Martha Herr, Adriana Kayama, and Wladimir Mattos.
"Because of the strong regionalism, as evidenced by the many accents in the country, diction used by classical singers to perform songs in Portuguese is not uniform. Most sounds in Brazilian Portuguese are
closely related to their Italian counterparts, so a good knowledge of Italian diction could help beginners in the first approach" (Luciano Simões).
EIGHT ART SONGS by Edmundo Villani-Côrtes
Edited by Rúbia Santos
Ponteio Publishing Inc. 2012
This edition, partially funded by the University of Wyoming, is a detailed study of the selected works for performance. It addresses stylistic approaches related to Brazilian musical genres and aims to guide performers and educators in learning Villani-Cortês’ works. The works’ formal design is traditionally classical and yet pervaded with musical elements from popular styles found in Brazil. This edition provides stylistic considerations on character, tempo markings, phrasing, articulation, dynamics, fingering, and pedaling. In In addition, Villani-Côrtes’ art songs required a complete review, including the versification of the texts and adequate alignment of the prosody with the musical notation. It is worth mentioning that the selected works are here published for the very first time.
EIGHT PIANO PIECES by Edmundo Villani-Côrtes
Edited by Rúbia Santos
Ponteio Publishing Inc. 2012
This edition, partially funded by the University of Wyoming, includes the transcriptions for solo piano of seven original songs and of O passarinho da Praça da Matriz, a work originally composed fo choir and symphonic band.
The field of Collaborative Piano is exciting and creative! In every partnership, we engage in an
adventurous endeavor, not only through music, but more so through our own selves. I have been passionate
about exploring and learning the vast collaborative repertoire, sharing it with singers and instrumentalists,
as we pass it all to an eager audience! Performing and teaching collaborative work is an ongoing process in this profession, which I have always enjoyed!
I invite you to explore the collaborative repertoire, and go to “Discography” for listening to selected performances.
“The piano gives me energy and I give the piano energy...when you add in the people you make music with, it really becomes quiet any electric thing.” (Pianist Warren Jones)
Practicing the Feldenkrais Method® has promoted profound and positive results in my approach to professional life as a pianist and teacher. The method has proven very effective for my piano students as well. It facilitates and advances piano and music skills as the awareness and understanding of the components of the method become "functionally integrated” into the practice of the instrument.
The study and application of the Feldenkrais Method® for pianists also enhances performance, contributing to the relief of performance anxiety. This issue has troubled and even impaired many pianists and other musicians. The method improves self-confidence, curiosity, and enthusiasm in playing, which are necessary qualities for musicians and artists exposed to stage performances.
Please click here to see the video "Feldenkrais for Musicians" from the 2010 Feldenkrais for Musicians workshop at the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Music, co-sponsored by UW - Madison School of Music and The College Music Society.
"Legacy for violin and piano is yet another example of why Jennifer’s music is so directly appealing. This is a straight forward neo-Romantic musing that the composer states is intended to represent “life’s wholeness, the good and the bad…” This elegant work is played with great emotion by John Fadial, violin with Rubia Santos, piano"
"Trumpet Songs has a similar lineage, being a set of nine melodies from art songs Higdon composed some years earlier. There is definitely a lyrical quality to these lovely little pieces and Scott Meredith, trumpet, with Rubia Santos on piano has a wonderful classical tone that carries the melodies in a gorgeous, unassuming way"
--Daniel Coombs (Audiophile Audition Magazine)
Chihara - Sonata for Viola and Piano
Villani-Cortes - Sonata for Viola and Piano, I. Moderato 1
“Several of the recordings are world premieres, including the title work and Japanese-American composer Paul
Chihara's "Sonata for Viola and Piano." Joining Juan-Miguel Hernandez (the viola in the Harlem String Quartet) on
this release is CMU faculty member Rúbia Santos. Her pianism contributes culturally to the album, Santos hailing
Duda - Suite Recife, "Andrea" (Baião)
“This unique collection has just the right balance of lyrical melodies and saucy rhythms that will please lovers
of both classical and Latin American music. A must-have for even those with little or no musical background but
who appreciate good music. Many of the works included were written for the performer himself and make their
debut with this album. The quality of this performance is excellent” (Connor Smith)
Pires de Campos - Allegro para violino e piano
Guarnieri - Sonata no. 4 for Violin and Piano, II. Intimo
Guarnieri - Sonata no. 4 for Violin and Piano, III. Intimo