Dinis Sousa

Founder and Artistic Director, Orquestra XXI
Assistant Conductor, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras

© Sim Canetty-Clarke


Dinis Sousa is Founder and Artistic Director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning orchestra which brings together some of the best young Portuguese musicians from around Europe. Orquestra XXI has already established itself as one of the leading performing groups in Portugal, appearing regularly in its main concert halls. Recent highlights include opening the Gulbenkian Foundation season and appearing at Centro Cultural de Belém’s festival “Dias da Música” for a televised concert with Orquestra XXI and the Gulbenkian Choir, performing Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri.

Dinis has worked closely with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles — the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir — culminating in his appointment as the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras’ first-ever Assistant Conductor. He has also assisted Gardiner with other orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker and Tonhalle Orchester Zürich. Recent highlights include co-conducting the Monteverdi Choir in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette at the BBC Proms, and touring with the English Baroque Soloists to Colombia, conducting several concerts of Bach’s orchestral music. Elsewhere, he assisted John Wilson for a production of Cendrillon at Glyndebourne Festival.

As a guest-conductor, recent and forthcoming highlights include projects with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse, Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, Malta Philharmonic, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Madeira Chamber Orchestra and conducting rehearsals with the London Symphony Orchestra. Dinis’ core repertoire is firmly rooted in the Classical to early Romantic eras — with recent performances of Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Schumann, Mozart — but also regularly conducts a wide range of music from Bach and Rameau through to 20th century and new music.

Dinis studied conducting with Sian Edwards and Timothy Redmond and piano with Philip Jenkins and Martin Roscoe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was Conducting Fellow. While at Guildhall, he conducted several different projects, including Bach’s St. John Passion at Milton Court and a staged production of Harrison Birtwistle’s Down by the Greenwood Side at the Silk Street Theatre.

In recognition of his work with Orquestra XXI, Dinis was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Prince Henry in Portugal.

For further information, please contact Niall Houlihan.



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    30 Apr 19 Orquestra XXI Schumann
    Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon

    “An excellent interpretation of a rarely performed work by Robert Schumann, Das Paradies und die Peri. The artistic maturity of the performance was as much worthy of note as was its youthfulness, as the protagonists were, besides the Gulbenkian Choir, the Orquestra XXI, made up of young Portuguese musicians living abroad, conducted with clarity and sensitivity by Dinis Sousa.”

    (“Uma excelente interpretação de uma obra de Robert Schumann raramente montada entre nós, Das Paradies und die Peri. A maturidade artística da actuação é tanto mais de relevar quanto foi patente a sua juvenilidade, já que os protagonistas foram, para além do Coro Gulbenkian, a Orquestra XXI, formada por jovens músicos portugueses residentes no estrangeiro, dirigidos com clareza e sensibilidade por Dinis Sousa.”)

    Manuel Pedro Ferreira, Publico, 1 May 2019

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    08 Sep 19 Orquestra XXI Brahms
    Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon

    “Orquestra XXI was excellently conducted by Dinis Sousa, especially in the dynamic construction of the work [Brahms – 4th Symphony], with an exquisite second movement and great rigour of articulation in the third.”

    (“A Orquestra XXI, muito bem dirigida por Dinis Sousa, sobretudo na construção dinâmica da obra, com um belíssimo segundo andamento e um grande rigor na articulação do terceiro.”)

    Pedro Boléo, Publico, 9 Sept 19

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    12 Jan 19 English Baroque Soloists

    “The English Baroque Soloists offered, under the direction of the young and vital Dinis Sousa, a selection of Bach’s magnificent orchestral work, in a bright and fresh interpretation.”

    (“Los English Baroque Soloists ofrecieron, bajo la dirección del joven y vital Dinis Sousa, una selección de la magnífica obra orquestal de Bach en una interpretación luminosa y fresca sin transgredir el estilo.”)

    Carolina Conti, El Espectador, 12 Jan 19

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    28 Nov 18 Orquestra Clássica da Madeira
    Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias

    “Sousa conducted a taut, urgent account of the first movement […] The music-making was very dynamic and I liked the lean, lithe sound that orchestra produced. The textures were clear at all times and the MCO players responded very well to Sousa…”

    “This was a most enjoyable concert. I was impressed by Dinis Sousa in both works. It’s evident that he has something to say about the music and he communicates this to his players.”

    John Quinn, Seen and Heard, 28 Nov 18