Mirpuri Foundation is pleased to announce a Prize in the areas of Dance, Music and Theater, under the names of figures of national reputation in each of these respective cultural areas. The Prize intends to promote and recognize cultural activities at the highest international levels of excellence, as well as to epitomize its role as a model for younger generations by stimulating the quality of artistic production in these fields of cultural expression. The prize will be awarded by a jury selected by Mirpuri Foundation, qualified in accordance with the respective performing area of the competition. Mirpuri Foundation will attribute its first award in the year 2018, in a special ceremony devoted to honor the works and authors laureate, but also to promote greater dissemination of its cultural enterprises and philanthropic activities.

The Dance, Music and Theater Awards recognize outstanding work and excellence in:




This award will promote excellence in this area, and there is no musical genre restriction. The prize is named after José Carlos de Sequeira Costa, a Portuguese pianist especially renowned for his interpretations of the Romantic repertoire and who continues to appear regularly on the panels of some of the world’s most prestigious music competitions, while also delivering numerous master classes and giving regular tours. 

In a career spanning almost seven decades, Sequeira Costa has developed his own musical interpretation from an understanding of the German and French schools, acquired through studies with his teacher, Vianna da Motta (one of the last pupils of Franz Liszt and Hans von Bulow), Mark Hamburg, Edwin Fischer, Marguerite Long and Jacques Fevrier.At the age of 22, Sequeira Costa, won the Grand Prix Ville de Paris at The Marguerite Long International Piano Competition in Paris and at age 27 he founded the Vianna da Motta International Music Competition in Lisbon. At age 28 he was invited by Dmitri Shostakovich to sit on the Jury of the first Tchaikovsky Competition that took place in Moscow in 1958, to which he returned 6 times.Throughout his distinguished career, Sequeira Costa has performed at the greatest halls around the world, including the Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, St Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall, The Vienna Musikverein, New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and all the major London Halls.In January of 1976, Sequeira Costa was invited to join the faculty of the University of Kansas. In 1977, he became a Cordelia Brown Murphy Distinguished Professor of Piano. He taught master classes extensively worldwide and sat on the juries of some of the most prestigious international music competitions, including the Chopin, Leeds, Marguerite Long, Montreal, Rubinstein and Tchaikovsky. Sequeira Costa’s discography is extensive, with works released on the Decca, Suprahon, His Master’s Voice, Sassetti, EMI, Marco Polo, Claudio Records and Naxos, among other labels. In the fall of 2009, when he turned 80, Sequeira Costa retired from the University of Kansas. In the fall of 2014 he performed for the last time in Europe, in a memorable recital at the Gulbenkian Foundation in his native Portugal.


Emanuel Pimenta

Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta (1957) is a Portuguese-Brazilian composer of contemporary erudite music, an architect and a town planner. He was student of Hans Joachim Koellreutter (who studied with Paul Hindemith, Hermann Scherchen and Kurt Thomas, was  master of Luigi Nono, Stockhausen and Cláudio Santoro among many others), Conrado Silva (Messiaen, Stockhausen) and Holger Czukai (Stockhausen) among others. Flutist (transversal), he studied with HJ Koellreutter (Marcel Moyse) and with the legendary master. In the 1980s he was director of the  Brazilian Society of Contemporary Music. He collaborated, as composer, with John Cage over the last seven years of his life, and was composer for Merce Cunningham over more than 25 years. Legendary musicians such as John Cage, David Tudor, Takehisa Kosugi, John Tilbury, Christian Wolff, Martha Mooke, John DS Adams, Maurizio Barbetti, Michael Pugliese, Umberto Petrin, Susie Georgetis, Audrey Riley, Marco Rappatoni, Francesco Cuoghi and the Manhattan Quintet among others have performed his compositions. Included in the Universalis Encyclopedia (Britannica) since 1991, in the Slonisnky Baker’s Music Dictionary (Berkeley), in the Charles Hall’s Chronology of the Western Classical Music, and in the All Music Guide: The Expert’s Guide to Best Cds among many others. In the last forty years, his concerts have been regularly performed in theaters such as Lincoln Center, Joyce Theater and The Kitchen in New York City; the Opera Garnier, the Opera Bastille or the Theater de La Ville in Paris; the Shinjuku Bunka Center in Tokyo; the National Operas of Montpellier and of Nancy, the Festival of Aix en Provence, in France; the MASP Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo; La Fenice in Venice, and the Biennale of Venice among many others. He composed the first opera in the history of music on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, which had the world première in Rome in 2005. With more than four hundred musical compositions, more than fifty compact discs, he wrote and published more than eighty books, several of them individually, several papers and electronic books. In 2014 he published Music – A Brief History of the Western Musical Thought. In the 1970s he started working on Artificial Intelligence, cellular automata, creating four dimensional music scores inside Virtual Reality. Since the 1980s he reseraches neurology and cognitive systems applied to music. He was member of several juries. He is an active member of the Academy of Sciences of New York, of the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters of Paris and of the American Society for the Advancement of Science in Washington among others. He is a consulting member of the Association Internationale pour la Video dans les Arts et la Culture, in Switzerland. He is a member of the Société des Autheurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques in Paris. He is Consultant of the Center for Advanced Studies of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of São Paulo; is a researcher of the COLABOR group of the School of Communication and Arts of the University of São Paulo; and an associate researcher at the University of Minho, Portugal. He received the Outstanding Marketing Award in 1977; the APCA Prize by the Paulista Association of Art Critics (AICA Brazil), and the Lake Maggiore Prize (AICA – International Association of Art Critics, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the Regional Government of Lombardy), in Locarno, Switzerland. In 2017 he received the Gold Medal of the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters of Paris. He lives in Locarno, Switzerland. 

Alexander Stewart

Born in London in 1964, Alexander Stewart began his studies at the age of six. He was granted a Double Top Music Scholarship at King’s School, Canterbury, studying with Clarence Myerscough and Felix Andriewsky. During this period  (1977-82), he was awarded two first and second prizes in the King’s School Music Competitions. In 1982, he became Eric Gruenberg’s pupil at the Guildhall School of Music. He was then awarded a scholarship by the Polish Government to study at the Szymanowsky Music Academy in Katowice, (1986-88) where he worked with Lewandowski and  Blasczok. Concerts and recitals in England, France, Spain, Portugal and Turkey. Records both for radio and television. Of particular interest are his interpretations of the Mozart G maj, Bruch and Sibelius Violin Concerti with the Southend Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a live broadcast of Saint-Saëns Havanaise for violin and orchestra with Silva Pereira and the former “Orquestra da Radiodifusão Portuguesa”. More recently participated as soloist in a cycle of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti in Teatro Camões in Lisbon as well as performing the Bach Violin Concert for two violins with Nicholas Chumachenko.  Performs Stravinsky´s” Duo Concertante” with the soloists from the Zurich Ballet with Portuguese National Ballet Company. An avid interest in promoting contemporary Portuguese music led to  the World Première Performance of Pedro Teixeira da Silva´s Concerto for two violins  with Portuguese violinist  António Figueiredo, Palácio da Ajuda, Lisbon, 2015. Together with the portuguese pianist Philippe Marques, recorded and  released (2015) on CD the 2 violin and piano sonatas by the Portuguese Modernist composer Ruy Coelho, who’s 30 years’ death was commemorated in 2016. Alexander Stewart is presently one of the leaders of the “Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa” as well as the1º violin and a founding member of both the Lacerda String Quartet and Trio Aeternus.

Mirpuri Foundation Jury