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Clóvis Pereira dos Santos

Date Born.:

Pianist, Composer, Arranger


Clóvis Pereira dos Santos

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 22/05/2023

By: Semira Adler Vainsencher - Researcher at the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation - Master in Psychology

In the city of Caruaru, Pernambuco, on 14 May 1932, Clóvis Pereira dos Santos was born to Luiz Gonzaga Pereira dos Santos and Maria do Carmo Santos. From his father, a clarinettist in the musical group Nova Euterpe, he would inherit his aptitude for music. And he would also learn from him how to play the clarinet, study musical theory and read music.

Clóvis moved to Recife in 1950, where he studied piano with teachers Manoel Augusto dos Santos and Josefina Aguiar at the School of Fine Arts’ Pernambuco Conservatory of Music, part of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). With maestro Guerra Peixe, he learned harmony, composition and orchestration. A decade later, Clóvis gave harmony classes at the 3rd National Course of Sacred Music, sponsored by UFPE, and in 1964, he joined the Recife Symphony Orchestra. That same year, he took over the position of harmony teacher at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) Music School.

At the invitation of Ariano Suassuna in 1969, Clóvis composed the first representative works of the Armorial Musical Movement for its official launch concert. And in 1974, he represented the country in the United States at the Fourth International Choir Festival, and toured the cities of New York and Washington with the University of Paraíba Choir, presenting at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Kennedy Center.

Invited by the US government in 1986, the composer attended the Music Educators National Conference. At that time, he came into contact with various universities and institutions, and graduated in modern harmony and orchestration in Boston, USA.
It should be noted that Clóvis Pereira dos Santos is a member of the Brazilian Society of Contemporary Music (SBMC) and professor of the Graduate Program in Music at the Federal University of Pernambuco. In addition, the composer received the second prize in the Paraíba State Department of Culture and the Sport’s National Composition Contest; and his name was recorded in the 8th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, under the Who’s Who in Music entry.

By Clóvis Pereira dos Santos are the following compositions, including frevos, caboclinhos, maracatus, pieces for choir and orchestra and pieces for symphony orchestras: Terno de pífanos [Fife Suit] (1954); Cantiga de roda [Children's Song](1956); Lamento e dança brasileira [Brazilian Lament and Dance] (1957); Luisinho no frevo [Little Louie in the Frevo] (1968); Capiba no frevo (1969); Clovinho no frevo (1970); Aninha no frevo (1971); Três peças nordestinas [Three Northeast Pieces] (1971); Aveloz (1980); Grande missa nordestina [Great Northeast Mass]; Cantata de Natal [Christmas Carol]; Sete peças breves para piano [Seven Short Pieces for Piano] (1990); Quarteto nº 1 para cordas [Quartet no 1 for Strings] (1991); Peça para orquestra sinfônica [Piece for Symphony Orchestra] (1991); Rapsódia de ritmos pernambucanos [Rhapsody of Pernambuco Rhythms]; and Velami para quinteto de cordas [Velami for String Quintet]. Many of his songs have been recorded in Brazil and abroad.

For his musical production, the talented Pernambuco composer has also received, among other honours, the Medal of Educational Merit (from the Pernambuco Government); the City of Recife Culture Trophy; the 18 May Medal of Merit (from the Municipality of Caruaru); and Living Memory of Recife Diploma (from the Recife City Council).



Recife, 29 March 2005.

sources consulted

BARRETO, José R. Paes; PEREIRA, Margarida M. de Souza; GOMES, Maria José P. Dicionário dos compositores carnavalescos pernambucanos. Recife: Cia. Pacífica, 2001.

CÂMARA, Renato Phaelante da. MPB: compositores pernambucanos: coletânea bio-músico fonográfica, 1920-1995. Recife: Fundaj, Ed. Massangana, 1997. 149 p. (Estudos e pesquisas, 96).

CLÓVIS Pereira dos Santos [Foto nesse texto]. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 9 ago. 2016.

how to quote this text

VAINSENCHER, Semira Adler. Clóvis Pereira dos Santos. In: Pesquisa Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2005. Disponible en: Acceso el: día mes año. (Por Ej.: 6 ago. 2020.)