Growing up in a non-musical home, my love for music came from watching Barbie Movies and listening to my mum’s only CD in the car – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. So my family was surprised when I begged to learn the violin aged 10. And as with most violists, my journey with the viola began as the local music school had no vacancies in the violin class!

Up until my Bachelor’s, I grew up in the same small, beautiful town in the interior of Portugal where, sadly, music wasn’t a central cultural activity, which meant lots of travelling to the littoral in order to play in orchestras and watch concerts as a teenager. When I wasn’t doing that, I could be found working at the local parish, museum, social charities and playing in weddings, experiences which ultimately made me a more sensible person and flexible musician.

As time went on, my family reluctantly accepted that I was going to be a musician, and to add to their shock, I decided to move abroad to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where I was warmly welcomed by the Welsh spirit, Welsh cakes and sheep! In Cardiff, I had the opportunity to work with fantastic musicians, play with BBC NOW and WNO on placement schemes and to immerse myself in the Baroque music scene which became one of my biggest passions.

Orchestras such as the Mahler Youth Orchestra have allowed me to perform throughout Europe. I will forever remember the day we performed at the Semperopera, Dresden. That moment was crucial in my formation as a musician as for the first time in my short life, I felt like I was part of something that transcended my understanding. There is no feeling quite like being on stage and sharing emotions that words can’t describe through music alongside likeminded musicians and to ultimately reach our audience’s deepest emotions and take them on an adventure with us.

One of my goals is to go back to the interior of Portugal and give back to the community that supported my endeavours even though they were far beyond their understanding by making music more accessible to the population. For the past five years, I have been involved in projects with the Portuguese Philharmonic Orchestra to promote music in my district by creating concert opportunities and workshops for the local community. I believe it is our responsibility as emerging musicians to promote the accessibility to the arts and to take it to isolated and disadvantaged communities. This is where I feel like I can make a difference and where my calling and purpose are.

In my free time I enjoy long walks, runs, cooking random dishes, reading, singing and playing mandolin, writing poetry and annoying my friends!