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João Domingos Bomtempo (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒuˈɐ̃w̃ duˈmĩɡuʃ bõˈtẽpu]; also Buontempo; Lisbon, 28 December 1775 – Lisbon, 18 August 1842) was a Portuguese classical pianist, composer and pedagogue.

João Domingos Bomtempo

Retrato de João Domingos Bomtempo (1814) - Henrique José da Silva (Museu Nacional da Música).png
1814 portrait by Henrique José da Silva
(National Museum of Music, Lisbon)
Born(1775-12-28)28 December 1775
Lisbon, Portugal
Died18 August 1842(1842-08-18) (aged 66)
Lisbon, Portugal
Years active1679–1722
Notable work
  • Messe de Requiem, Op.23 ("In Memory of Camões") (1819)
Maria das Dores de Almeida (m. 1836)


Bomtempo was the son of an Italian musician in the Portuguese court orchestra, and studied at the Music Seminary of the Patriarchal See in Lisbon. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he was not interested in opera and, in 1801, instead of going to Italy, he traveled to Paris, where he started a career as a virtuoso pianist. He moved to London in 1810 and became acquainted with liberal circles in that city.

During 1822 he returned to Lisbon, and founded there a Philharmonic Society to promote public concerts of contemporary music. After the Portuguese civil war between liberals and absolutists had resulted in a liberal victory, Bomtempo became a music teacher to the young Queen Maria II of Portugal and first Director of the National Conservatory, created in 1835 to replace the old Patriarchal Seminary, which had been abolished by the new liberal regime.

Bomtempo composed a vast number of concertos (many of them newly published by, sonatas, variations and fantasies for the piano. His two known symphonies are the first to be produced by a Portuguese composer. But his largest work, and probably his masterpiece, is his Requiem in memory of Luís de Camões, which has been released on CD.

List of compositionsEdit

Op. 1 \ Piano Sonata No. 1 in F major
Op. 2 \ Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major (ca. 1804)
Op. 3 \ Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor (ca. 1800-1810)
Op. 4 \ Fandango & Variations for piano
Op. 5 \ Piano Sonata No. 2 in C minor
Op. 6 \ Introduction, 5 variations & fantasy on Paisiello's favorite air for piano
Op. 7 \ Piano Concerto No.3 in G minor
Op. 8 \ Capriccio & Variations on God save the King for piano in E flat major
Op. 9 No.1 \ Piano Sonata No. 3 in E flat major
Op. 9 No.2 \ Piano Sonata No. 4 in C major
Op. 9 No.3 \ Sonata for violin and harpsichord in E major
Op. 10a \ Hymno lusitano (cantata)
Op. 10b \ La Virtù Trionfante (cantata)
Op. 11 \ Symphony No.1 in E flat major
Op. 12 \ Piano Concerto No.4 in D major (1811-1812)
Op. 13 \ Piano Sonata No. 5 in C major
Op. 14 \ Fantasia for piano in C minor
Op. 15 No.1 \ Piano Sonata No. 6 in A flat major
Op. 15 No.2 \ Piano Sonata No. 7 in G minor
Op. 15 No.3 \ Variations for piano on a popular French song
Op. 16 \ Piano Quintet in E flat major
Op. 17 \ A paz da Europa (cantata)
Op. 18 No.1 \ Piano Sonata No. 8 in G major
Op. 18 No.2 \ Piano Sonata No. 9 in F minor
Op. 18 No.3 \ Piano Sonata No.10 in E flat major
Op. 19 \ 12 Studies for piano (1816)
Op. 20 \ Piano Sonata No.11 in E flat major
Op. 21 \ Variations for piano on a theme from Die Zauberflöte in G minor
Op. 22 \ Variations for piano on a theme from Alessandro in Efeso in B flat major
Op. 23 \ Requiem in C minor (1819-1820)
Op. 24 \ Piano Concerto No.5 in C minor/major[1]

  • 4 Absolutions
  • Libera me Domine in C minor
  • Piano Concerto No.6 in E minor (1810-1840)
  • Serenata for piano and winds in F major (1821-1830)
  • Symphony No.2 in D major
  • Te Deum in F major
  • Variations for piano on a theme from La donna del Lago in E minor (1822)
  • Fantasy for piano and orchestra (on a theme from La donna del Lago)
  • Waltz for piano
  • Alessandro in Efeso, opera seria
  • Tantum Ergo, Kyrie, Gloria e Credo (1842)
  • March of Lord Wellington (arrangement by the composer for piano 4-hands)


  1. ^ Harper, Nancy Lee (2013). Portuguese Piano Music: An Introduction and Annotated Bibliography. UK: Scarecrow Press. p. 11. ISBN 0-8108-8300-7.

External linksEdit