The Mirpuri Foundation is pleased to announce that it will be awarding a Prize in the areas of Dance, Music and Theater. Each prize will be named after a national prominent public figure 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 qualified jury in accordance with the competition’s respective performing area, selected by the Mirpuri Foundation. The Mirpuri Foundation will attribute its first award in 2018, in a special ceremony devoted to honoring the works and authors laureate, but also to promote a greater dissemination of its cultural enterprises and philanthropic activities.

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



This award promotes 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 City’s Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and all the major London Halls. In January 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 Dimas de Melo Pimenta (1957) is a Portuguese-Brazilian composer of contemporary erudite music, an architect and a town planner. He was a student of Hans Joachim Koellreutter (who studied with Paul Hindemith, Hermann Scherchen and Kurt Thomas, who was a master of Luigi Nono, Stockhausen and Cláudio Santoro among 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 Demetrio Lima (Burt Bacharach, classic and jazz). In the 1980’s he was director at the  Brazilian Society of Contemporary Music. He worked, as a composer, with John Cage over his last seven years of life, and was a composer for Merce Cunningham for 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. Works 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 the Lincoln Center, the 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; MASP (São Paulo Modern Art Museum); La Fenice in Venice, and the Biennale of Venice as well. He composed the first opera in the history of music on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, which had its world première in Rome in 2005. Pimenta has created more that four hundred musical compositions, published more than fifty compact discs and more than eighty books, almost all individually,more than two hundred scientific papers and many electronic books. In 2014 he published the book “Music – A Brief History of Western Musical Thought”. In the 1970s he started working on artificial intelligence, cellular automata, as well as creating four-dimensional music scores inside Virtual Reality. Since the 1980’s he has researched neurology ans space-time cognitive systems applied to music. He has been member of several juries and remains an active member of the New York Academy of Sciences , of the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters of Paris and of the American Society for the Advancement of Science in Washington D.C. among others. He is a consulting member of the Association Internationale pour la Video dans les Arts et la Culture, in Switzerland as well as a member of the Société des Autheurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques in Paris. He is a consultant at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of São Paulo, a researcher at the COLABOR group at the School of Communication and Arts at the University of São Paulo and an associate researcher at the University of Minho in 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 a Gold Medal from the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters of Paris. He lives in Locarno, Switzerland.


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. Stewart performed concerts and recitals in England, France, Spain, Portugal and Turkey and he went on to record 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, he participated as a soloist in a cycle of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti at Teatro Camões (Camões Theatre) in Lisbon, as well as performing the Bach Violin Concert for two violins with Nicholas Chumachenko.  He has performed Stravinsky´s” Duo Concertante” with the soloists from the Zurich Ballet with the Portuguese National Ballet Company. An avid interest in promoting contemporary Portuguese music led him to Pedro Teixeira da Silva´s Concerto for two violins at the World Première Performance with Portuguese violinist António Figueiredo at Palácio da Ajuda in Lisbon 2015. Together with Portuguese pianist Philippe Marques, Stewart recorded and released a CD in 2015 featuring two violin and piano sonatas by the Portuguese Modernist composer Ruy Coelho, whose 30th death anniversary will be marked in 2016. Alexander Stewart is currently one of the leaders at the “Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa” (Portuguese Symphonic Orchestra) as well as first violin and a founding member of both the Lacerda String Quartet and Trio Aeternus.

Mirpuri Foundation Jury