Abel Pereira came to the United States in 2014, when Christoph Eschenbach appointed him Principal Horn of the National Symphony Orchestra. Born in Porto, Portugal, into a family of fishermen, he began his musical studies at the age of ten and within a year began a solo career with orchestras across Europe. He earned his degree at ESMAE Politécnico Do Porto (Porto University), studying horn with Bohdan Sebestik, and continued his studies in Germany with Marie-Luise Neunecker. He received his Ph.D. in coaching and performance from Porto University in 2012.
Abel has performed and taught at major music festivals across Europe and the United States and has won awards at international competitions in Germany, England, Holland, Brazil, and the Czech Republic. His solo discography includes the complete Mozart horn concerti, “Romantic Repertoire for Horn and Piano,” Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1, and the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante. In 2001 he recorded Mozart´s Horn Concerto No. 2 for a BBC TV show entitled “Mozart for Children.”
Before joining the National Symphony, Abel played principal horn with the Porto Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the London Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Dedicated to encouraging young musicians, Abel coached the brass section of the Portuguese Youth Orchestra and served on the audition panel for the European Youth Orchestra. For fourteen years he was a professor at Lisbon University and Porto University.
Alongside his horn career, Abel studied choral conducting with Gunter Argleb and orchestral conducting with Alvaro Salazar in Porto. He later attended conducting master classes with Professor Colin Matters, of London’s Royal Academy of Music, and with Maestro Jorma Panula.
Abel was a founding member and music director of the Portuguese Horn Ensemble, in addition to conducting the Portuguese Youth Orchestra. His international conducting career has featured guest appearances with the Noya Symphony Orchestra (Spain), the Orchestra Sinfonica di Rimini (Italy), the Vilnius Chamber Orchestra (Lithuania), and the Zadar Symphony Orchestra (Croatia).
Having joined Eclipse as a guest conductor twice during the 2015-16 season, Abel eagerly embraces his new role as Music Director.