Founded in 1970 by the composer Jorge Peixinho, the Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa (GMCL) was the first Portuguese contemporary music ensemble, and has played a historic role in the vanguard of opening up Portuguese society to the musical aesthetics of its time. Its first public appearance was in the Sintra Festival in 1970, and it has since then been a constant presence in Portugal, including recordings for radio and television. In 1972 it made its first trip abroad, to take part in the Royan Festival of Contemporary Art.
During the course of its more than 40 years of existence, the GMCL has given concerts and performed in contemporary music festivals in Amsterdam, Acqui Terme, Bamberg, Bayreuth, Belo Horizonte, Brussels, London, Madrid, Nice, Rotterdam, Santos, São Paulo, Seville, Siena, Turin, Warsaw and Zagreb. In Portugal, its regular participation in the Gulbenkian Contemporary Music Festival in Lisbon has been particularly important, as well as the Festivals of Estoril and Coimbra, Europália 91, and the São Carlos Opera House, amongst others.
The GMCL’s discography includes works by Jorge Peixinho, with a number of performances conducted by the composer himself, and many premières of works by other composers. The Group has also recorded works by Portuguese music for the International composers’ Rostrum ands taken part in a number of original works for theatre, cinema and multimedia, having been awarded the Medal of Cultural Merit by the Secretariat of State for Culture as recognition of its work in the dissemination of Portuguese and foreign contemporary music. The propagation of contemporary Portuguese music, especially that of Jorge Peixinho, has been the centre of the GMCL’s mission. With support from the IPAE/DGArtes, it has followed, since 2000, a policy of commissioning, performing and promoting works from composers, the present recording being a result of this.
In parallel, the GMCL regularly organizes educational projects, with the aim of creating new audiences and of training new conductors and performers.
The most recent recordings by the GMCL of music by Jorge Peixinho, for the Catalan label La Mà de Guido (LMG 4004 e 4008), were enthusiastically received by the critics.