António Sá-Dantas
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foto António B. Sa-Dantas Direção copy.jpg


Cat’s Cradle Collective

Debut performance of the Cat’s Cradle Collective, conducted and created by António Sá-Dantas,
with music by Bach, Brunet, Lutoslawski, Sá-Dantas and Pärt.

Wed 12.12.2018, 6.15pm in Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - Royal College of Music, London.

book tickets here:



António Breitenfeld Sá-Dantas is a composer, conductor and performer. In all the different sides of his creative output he finds one source — looking for novelty, wonder and expression through sound. He has composed works for orchestra, ensemble, choir, voice as well as performative works and installations.

During his artistic residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts (USA) in the summer of 2016, he composed the radio music play Eine Schwalbe falten on a text by Margret Kreidl, commissioned and broadcasted by the Austrian national radio Ö1. He has also had a long standing relationship with the Portuguese national radio Antena 2 leading up to this years broadcast of the Portuguese version of this music theatre for radio. Dobrar uma Andorinha was broadcast, with the renowned actress Rita Blanco playing the main role in Oct. and Nov. 2018. Antena 2 has also commissioned a new work in form a music theatre for radio for 2019. António was Casa da Música’s Young Composer in Residence 2016. For that position he was commissioned three works: perante sonora flor esta, Ferocidade and Désir t’a appris l’inanité du désir, all premiered in Casa da Música by leading ensembles. His earlier work Cantos for choir a cappella was awarded the 2nd prize in the Styria Cantat Choir Competition in 2015 and was subsequently recorded and published. 

António is the co-creator and principal conductor of the Cat’s Cradle Collective (CCC), an ensemble dedicated to performing music across ages and genres; and the Voyage Ensemble, an ensemble that explores experimental film music. In December 2018 he will conduct the CCC with the UK premiere of his work Désir t’a appris in the Royal College of Music Concert Hall, including works by Bach, Lutoslawski, Pärt and the renaissance composer Brunet. 

His work as a composer and performer merged into each other with the creation of the music+dance performance Suspensão. Co-created and performed by António, choreographer Clara Andermatt and improviser Jonas Runa, Suspensão has been touring ever since its premiere in 2016 through the most prominent concert halls in Portugal. He recently worked with visual artist Judith Deschamps on a work exploring artificial intelligence in recreating Farinelli’s voice.

He has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Composition and in Orchestra Conducting from the Kunstuniversität Graz. His teachers included Beat Furrer and Martin Siegahrt, respectively. He was part of the Impuls Festival 2017, had a workshop with Emanuel Nunes in Gulbenkian Foundation (2010). António is currently studying with Jonathan Cole towards a Masters in Composition at the Royal College of Music in London and is is a Charles Stewart Richardson Scholar supported by the Henry Wood Accommodation Trust.



leve, vento, passa... (vers.1, pt) (dragged).jpg
Hindu Goddess Kali, from a bronze in the Calcutta Art Gallery. Image date: ca. 1913.

Hindu Goddess Kali, from a bronze in the Calcutta Art Gallery.
Image date: ca. 1913.

Désir t'a appris l'inanité du désir

for ensemble. (2016)


Kali yearns constantly for sex. But the desire, that shapes her will and her path, doesn't bring her fulfilment, it slowly destroys her. Exhausted by this unyielding yearning she confesses to the sage, she's tired, tired of this life. He answers her that "desire has taught her, the inanity of desire."  

Inspired by Marguerite Yourcenar's short story "Kali decapitée" (Contes Orientales).

Remix Ensemble, Peter Rundel, dir. November 2016, Casa da Música, Portugal. 

Commissioned by Casa da Música, as Young Composer in Residence 2016.

Instrumentation:  dbass-fl / picc, ob, bass-cl, bsn, hrn (f), trp (b), tbn, perc (sleigh bells, tambourin, gc, timp (low c)), 2 vln, vla, vlc, db.