Curso de Música Silva Monteiro
Carolina (1889-1948), Ernestina (1890-1972) and Maria José (1892-1973) da Silva Monteiro were born in a well-known, wealthy family in Porto. They were the daughters of José da Silva Monteiro, businessman and industrialist, and his wife Ernestina Moreira da Silva Monteiro. Their paternal grandfather, António da Silva Monteiro, 1st Viscount and Count da Silva Monteiro, made his fortune in Brazil and was a notable merchant, businessman and philanthropist in Porto.
The three sisters received an excellent education from an early age, as was the norm in a distinctive and culturally enlightened environment. Music played a central role in their education. Their best-known teachers were Augusto and Virgínia Suggia and Óscar da Silva, who had studied under Clara Schumann.
But, family difficulties arose due to the economic crisis experienced between the two world wars. Partly forced by the circumstances, but also making use of their remarkable artistic talent, they decided, with an admirable vision of the future, to set up the Curso Silva Monteiro, the first and biggest private music school in Porto, on 2 March 1928. They started off with just three students at the family home, then at No. 881, Avenida da Boavista, but their scope soon widened.
For four decades, the Curso Silva Monteiro trained generations of pianists, from music teachers to “amateurs” until in 1973, at the express wish of Ernestina and Maria José da Silva Monteiro, it was transferred to three of their oldest students and assistants, Maria Teresa Matos, Maria da Conceição Caiano and Maria Fernanda Wandschneider. It then became known as Curso de Música Silva Monteiro.
Luís Cabral (Dr.)