London-based Portuguese conductor and pianist Dinis Sousa is founder and artistic director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning orchestra bringing together some of the best young Portuguese musicians living abroad. The orchestra has already established itself as one of the leading performing groups in Portugal, appearing regularly in all the major concert halls to critical acclaim. As Artistic Director of Orquestra XXI, Dinis has explored a wide range of repertoire, from Bach’s St. John Passion to world premieres by Portuguese composers, as well as great symphonic repertoire by Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
Sousa has also conducted orchestras such as the Aurora Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. Other highlights include opening the Gulbenkian Foundation Season and appearing at Centro Cultural de Belém’s festival “Dias da Música” for a televised concert with the Gulbenkian Choir in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri.
Sousa 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 recent 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 Zurich. At the 2016 BBC Proms, Sousa co-conducted the Monteverdi Choir in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette and this season he toured with the English Baroque Soloists to Colombia, conducting several concerts of Bach’s orchestral music to critical acclaim.
Dinis studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was the Conducting Fellow, during which period he had the opportunity to prepare the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra for Bernard Haitink as well as conducting several different projects, including Bach’s St. John Passion at Milton Court Concert Hall and a staged production of Harrison Birtwistle’s Down by the Greenwood Side at the Silk Street Theatre. At Guildhall, Dinis studied conducting with Sian Edwards and Timothy Redmond and piano with Philip Jenkins and Martin Roscoe. As a pianist he had the opportunity of studying with musicians such as Yekaterina Lebedeva, András Keller, Angela Hewitt, Richard Egarr, Ralf Gothóni, amongst others. Dinis plays as a duo with violinist Maria Włoszczowska.
In recognition of his work with Orquestra XXI, Dinis was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Prince Henry, by the President of the Portuguese Republic, Anibal Cavaco Silva.