Brian MacKay has been living in Portugal for the past 15 years where he has built a diverse and exciting career while maintaining strong musical ties to his native Ireland. He trained at the Royal College of Music (London) and the Kodály Institute (F. Liszt Academy of Music – Kecskemét / Hungary), where he studied with Yonty Solomon, Janos Furst and Lawrence Leonard (later becoming his assistant at Morley College), Sarah Francis, Jeremy Dale-Roberts, Timothy Salter, Edwin Roxburgh, Katalin Kiss, Peter Erdei, Zsuzsa Heyas, Roland Hajdu, studies reflected in the broad and diverse vision of music that has underpinned his professional approach and experience. A strong motivation for professional development and the acquisition of more effective teaching tools led him to a second period of advanced study in Hungary, focused on conducting (orchestral and choral), vocal training and accompaniment and coaching with singers. During his stay in Hungary, he sang with Ars Nova, a professional choral ensemble, becoming a lifetime honorary member for his servicesto the group.  During the succeeding 10 years, he conducted concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Cecilia, Chamber Choir Ireland, Czech Virtuosi in Brno, Nairobi Orchestra in Kenya, Fishamble Voices, Enchiriadis Treis and St. George’s Singers in Belfast. He worked as a Repetiteur and Music Director at the International Wexford Opera Festival for two years, and as a Repetiteur with the Opera Theatre Company in several productions, before returning to the company as conductor. Brian has conducted over 20 opera productions with a repertoire ranging from Handel and Mozart through Verdi and Puccini to contemporary works. In 2006 he had the honour of being invitedto direct the Opera Theatre Company’s production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen at the Janáček Brno Festival with the Czech Virtuosi Orchestra. In his last 2years of residency in Ireland, he was the principal conductor of Chamber Choir Ireland. On arrival in Portugal, he founded the ZêzereArts Festival, now in its 12th year. Hehas given recitals and conducted concerts throughout the country, at institutions such as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Teatro São Carlos, Palácio Foz andTeatro Aberto in Lisbon. The eclecticism of his aesthetic orientation led to theinvitation to conduct a concert with the jazz trio PLINT (Pablo Lapidusas InternationalTrio) in 2018, in the Artes à Rua Festival in Évora. His enthusiasm and dedication tonew works led to him conducting the premieres of two new large-scale Portuguese operatic productions, by the composer Amílcar Vasques-Dias – Soror Mariana Alcoforado (2017) and Geraldo e Samira (2019). In 2024 he will conduct O Canto daOcidental Praia by António Vitorino D’Almeida as part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Luís de Camóes.











Óscar Carmo began his trumpet studies at the age of 11 at EPABI, Professional School of Arts of Beira Interior, with Rui Borba. He was later admitted to ANSO, Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra to study with Sérgio Charrinho, Rui Mirra and David Burt. He attended master-classes with trumpeters such as Allen Vizzuti , Michael Sachs, Matthias Hofs, Thomas Stevens, Pierre Dutot, Bruno Nouvion, Hakan Hardenberger, Jeroen Berwaerts, Nenad Markovic, Per Ivarsson, Bo Nilsson, Antonio Quitalo and Jorge Almeida. In Portugal he collaborated with orchestras such as: Orquestra Clássica da Madeira, Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, Orquestra Clássica do Sul, the Gulbenkian Orchestra and the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra. He has played with the Orquestra de Camara Portuguesa since 2007, under the artistic direction of Maestro Pedro Carneiro. Óscar is a founding member of the trumpet quintet “Almost 6” with which he has given concerts in theatres throughout Portugal as well as visiting London, China and the USA.