Abel Pereira was appointed principal horn of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2014 by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach.
He was born in Porto (Portugal) in the late 70´s, comes from the bosom of a family of fishermen. He grew up sailing in the Atlantic Ocean and started his musical studies at the Banda de Musica dos STCP. Since his first solo appearance at the age of 11 he has developed an intense concert and masterclass activity in many international music festivals around the world; Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
After attending ARTAVE Professional High School of Music he went to study with Bohdan Sebestik at ESMAE (Porto University) where he graduated in 1999. He continued his studies in Germany with Marie-Luise Neunecker before he received his master in music industry marketing in 2008 and his PhD in coaching/performance in 2012, both degrees at Porto University. During his training he played with the Portuguese Youth Orchestra, Ibero-Amercian Youth Orchestra, Mediterranean Youth Orchestra, European Youth Orchestra and attended master classes with Radovan Vlatkovic, Jeffrey Bryant, Stefan Dohr, Dale Clevenger and Hermann Baumann.
Pereira has won awards at competitions such as Leeuwarden International Horn Competition (Holland), Internationaler Instrumentalwettbewerb Markneukirchen (Germany), Concertino Praga (Czech Republic), National Wind Competition (Portugal), Conservatory Souza Lima (Brazil), Arouca´s City Hall (Portugal), National Radio Competition (Portugal) and European Master-Prize (England).
He was a founding member of the ARZTIZ Woodwind Quintet, Porto Brass Quintet and Music Director of the Portuguese Horn Ensemble. He has been invited to play and teach in some of the most prestigious international music festivals such as Festival de Música do Estoril, Festival de Música de Sintra, Festival de Música da Póvoa de Varzim, CCB Summer Fest, Miami Summer Music Festival, HALCYON New Hampshire, Stellenbosch Chamber Music Festival, Festival de Artes de Maputo, Festival de Musique de Besançon, Ossiach Austria Festspiel, Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms, Diaghilev Festival Perm, Athens Music Fest, Baden-Baden Festspiel, Berlin Festspiel, International Horn Society Symposiums and the Brazilian Horn Association.
His solo discography includes the complete Mozart Horn Concerti, the URTEXT Mozart´s fourth Concerto, Romantic Repertoire for Horn and Piano, R. Strauss 1st Horn Concerto and the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante. In 2001 he recorded Mozart´s second Horn Concerto for the BBC TV Show "Mozart for Children".
During his career he played with great conductors and soloists including, Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Carlo Maria Giulini, Vladimir Jurowsky, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mstislav Rostropovich, Radu Lupo, Emanuel Ax, Lang Lang, Rene Fleming and Christian Tetzlaff.
He has performed in the most well-known concert halls all over the world, including Royal Albert Hall, London Festival Hall, Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Cite de la Musique, Teatro all Scala, Concertgebouw, Munich Gasteig, Musikverein, Berline Philharmonie and Kennedy Center.
As a soloist he played more than 60 solo concerts with many world class orchestras.
He was principal horn with Porto Symphony Orchestra, as well as professor at ANSO (Lisbon University) and ESMAE (Porto University).
In addition to his career as a horn player, he studied choral conducting with Gunter Argleb and orchestra conducting with Alvaro Salazar at Porto University. Later he attended masterclasses with Professor Colin Matters at the Royal Academy of Music in London and with Maestro Jorma Panula. Pereira was also on the jury for the European Union Youth Orchestra for 10 years and he was the brass coach for the Ossiach Youth Orchestra in Austria. His conducting experience includes the Noya Symphony Orchestra (Spain), Orchestra Sinfonica de Riminni (Italy), Vilnus Chamber Orchestra (Lithuania) and Zadar Symphony (Croatia).
He is since 2016 Music Director of Eclipse Chamber Orchestra and in 2017 he was appointed Music Director of the Summer Music Institute Orchestra of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC.
He has been acting for many years as guest principal horn with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic and Berline Philharmonic.
Abel loves boating and cooking.
He plays an Alexander 103 and a V. Bach 3 mouthpiece.