Created in October 2004, with the aim of promoting the formation of a new generation of specialized performers in the early music repertoire,Early Music Course (CMA) is currently in the 14th year of activity and has about 50 students studying the 11 instruments taught (singing, violin, viola, cello, viola da gamba, flute, oboe, bassoon, harpsichord and lute). With a highly specialized program inspired by experiences at the most prestigious European schools, a highly educated teaching staff with vast concert experience in some of the most prestigious groups, and an innovative workplace, the CMA continues to be the main center of early music teaching in Portugal, attracting students from several European countries and Latin America.
In this programme the students are encouraged to perform on stage as regularly as possible, either in free auditions and organized by the students themselves, or at indoor and outdoor concerts. The most representative groups of CMA – the Baroque Orchestra, Baroque Opera Lab and the Sesquialtera – are the main means of contact with a relevant part of the repertoire of the XVI-XVIII centuries and regularly perform in concerts conducted by their teachers or invited conductors. Promoting several concerts in different local places (theaters, churches and other heritage buildings), CMA also develops a regular production of stage pieces, such as: Ballet de la Raillerie (2014) de JB Lully in the Caves Krohn, Acis & Galatea (2014) by GF Haendel in different monasteries of the Rota do Românico, as part of the “Palcos do Românico” Festival; Dido and Aeneas (2015) by H. Purcell at Casa Andresen and at Sala Paraninfo (University of Santiago de Compostela); Coffee Cantata by J.S. Bach (2016) at the ESMAE Café Concerto, as the opening Concert of the second Baroque Music Junior Academy; Combatimento diTancredi and Clorinda / Ballo delle Ingrate (2017) by C. Monteverdi in the Church of the University of Compostela; Fables of La Fontaine (2018) by M.R. Delalande at Teatro Helena Sá e Costa, as the opening Concert of the fourth Baroque Music Junior Academy.
The presentations in places outside the school, and in proto-professional models, are thus one of the central points of the training program.