Chorbiennale Dirigenten Jimenez © Alice Rodrigues

Maria Antônia Jimenez

Maria Antonia graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts in Choral Conducting from the St Petersburg Conservatoire, Russia in 1993. In 1995, at the invite of the Carlos Gomes Foundation, she began giving choral conducting and singing lessons in the Carlos Gomes Conservatoire, teaching 1st and 2nd grades and undergraduates.

In April of the same year she founded the Carlos Gomes Choir in the state of Pará for which she received special recognition both in Brazil and abroad. The choir has represented both the state of Pará and Brazil in many festivals and national and international competitions, giving 6 winning performances including a Diploma and Silver award in the XXVII International Franz Schubert Choral Competition in Vienna; Gold and Silver medals in the X Choral Olympics in Graz, Austria; Gold medal in the IX Orlando Di Lasso International Choir Competition in Camerino, Italy; Bronze medal in the XII Sacred Music Festival in Preveza, Greece. Maria Antonia was the producer and musical director of the choir’s Cd’s Belo (Beautiful) and O Cantochão dos Mercedários do Grão Pará (Plainsong of the Mercenaries of Grão Pará). In 2011 she recorded the first CD for the TIM Música nas Escolas project with youngsters from state schools, and in 2010 launched the CD Missa Amazônica em Homenagem à Virgem de Nazaré (Amazonian Mass for The Virgin of Nazareth).

She was invited by the Institute of Arts of Pará (IAP) to research the folkloric music of Pará, the result of which was the musical transcription of the Marujadas, a CD entitled Ladainhas de São Benedito (Litanies of St Benedict), a phonographic register of the reinterpretation of themes taken from the traditional liturgical and religious ceremonies in the municipality of Oriximiná, which can be found on the second part of the CD Encomendação das Almas (Commendation of Souls). She collaborated on four of the tracks from the CD Tempo Destino (Destined Time), indicated for a Latin Grammy award, celebrating 25 years of singer Nilson Chaves’s career.

For two years she conducted the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) Madrigal Choir and founded and directed the Coral do Ministério Público do Estado de Pará (State of Pará Public Ministry Choir). She was also the founder of the Coral Vozes da Amazônia (Voices of the Amazon Choir) whom she still conducts. She was invited to be a judge at the VI Bidu Sayão International Vocal Competition, the I Helen Coelho Cardoso Vocal Competition and numerous Brazilian popular music festivals and carnavals.

She has been a guest choral conductor at the Internal Festival of Opera in Manaus and In 2007 & 2008 at The Curitiba Camerata Antiqua. Both the Belém City Council and the State of Pará’s Legislative Assembly have awarded her the Waldemar Henrique Commemorative Plate for her contribution to music education, and in 2005 was awarded the Honorary Citizen of Pará award. In 2010 she was chosen by the Business Women’s Council (CME) of the Commercial Association of Pará (ACP) to be the Cultural Personality of the Year for which she appeared in the “Talented Women” edition. In June of 2012 the Carlos Gomes Foundation honoured her for her musical contribution to 25 years of the International Music Festival of Pará.

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