Biography

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Rubens Lopes’ interest in musical instruments began when he was 4 years old. With his parents’ support, he had access to many instruments before he began his formal musical education, when he was 8 years old, with lessons in piano, harmony and vocal technique. By the time he was 12, with 3 certificates in keyboard initiation, started his own band as a drummer, becoming a professional drummer by the age of 14, playing in nightclubs and recording his first album as a percussionist for a Sertanejo (Brazilian country music) duo. Still at 14 he started working with Fernandopolis’ Wind Orchestra, with Fernando Paina as his mentor and conductor, and with Wagner Silva as his drums instructor. During this period, he had his first contact with music for orchestra, played in a Big Band and in jazz ensembles with pianist Gustavo Bombonato. When he was 17 he was accepted into São Paulo’s State University (UNESP) and into UNESP’s Percussion Ensemble (PIAP), led by John Boudler, where he deepened his knowledge of classical and contemporary music. In the University he studied Percussion with Eduardo Gianesella, John Boudler and Carlos Stasi, among other classes such as musical harmony, theory, electroacoustic music, musical acoustics and conducting. At the end of his studies he obtained a Scholarship for research by FAPESP and won the Excellency award in 2012.

 

In 2012, by the age of 21, he entered São Paulo State’s Youth Orchestra as a percussionist. With the orchestra he took part of 2 international tours and was awarded with a Scholarship by the Ernani de Almeida Machado Prize. In 2013 he was accepted unanimously as the first Brazilian Percussionist to enter the prestigious Paris Conservatory of Music and Dance (CNSMDP), where he studied under among the World’s most respected musicians, such as Michel Cerutti, Florent Jodelet, Benoît Cambreling, Nicolas Martynciow, Alexandros Markeas, Vincent Lê Quang, Frederich Stochl, Deborah Diouf and Glenn Ferris and obtained 2 Master Degrees: Master in Percussion and Master in Generative Improvisation (from which he graduated with the Jury’s top grades). Also, in the Conservatory, Rubens obtained 4 certificates: choreographic accompaniment, instrumental theater, jazz initiation and Javanese gamelan.

 

In Brazil and in France, Rubens took part in concerts and recordings with the World’s most respected orchestras, such as Paris Orchestra, France’s National Orchestra, Paris Orchestra, French National Orchestra, Radio France Philarmonic Orchestra, “Pays de la Loire” Orchestra, Bordeaux National Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, IEMA Ensemble Modern, DSO Berlin, Paris Chamber Orchestra, Paris Conservatory Laureates Orchestra, São Paulo, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Impromptu Symphony Orchestra, Prométhée Orchestra, Pixelophonia Symphony Orchestra, EDF Orchestra, Rosamunde Orchestra, Orchestra of the Paris Hospitals, Paris Brass Band, Lyriade Orchestra, Bachiana Filarmônica SESI, Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, etc. He has worked with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, Matthias Pintscher, Emilio Pomarico, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Frank Shipway, Alexandre Desplat, Michele Mariotti, Aurélien Azan Zielinski, Giancarlo Guerrero, James Gaffigan,  Jean Deroyer, Maxime Tortelier, Philippe Aïche, Guillermo Garcia Calvo, Quentin Hindley, Alain Altinoglu, Dennis Russel Davies, George Pehlivanian, Laurent Cuniot, Guillaume Bourgogne, Paul Daniel, Jean-Jacques Justafré, Clotilde Otranto, Michael Cousteau, Pascal Rophé, Fayçal Karoui, Jean-Philippe Wurtz, Vincent Vittoz, Patrick Davin, Marc Lys, Florent Didier, Olivier Cangelosi, Olivier Grangean, Damien Peyré, Mônica Giardini, Luís Fernando Paina, Marcelo Jardim, Edivaldo de Paula, Fabio Mechetti, Claudio Cruz, Reginaldo Nascimento, Simone Menezes, Rodolf Beck, Claudia Feres, João Carlos Martins, among others.

 

As a Percussionist he was also one of the founding members of Martello Quartet in São Paulo and of Paris Conservatory’s Percussion Ensemble. In 2017 he recorded the soundtrack for the movie Valerian, by Luc Besson, and in the same year he won the 3rd Prize in Prix Italia 2017, with the recording and broadcasting of the piece Rapsodie Monstre by Greek composer Alexandros Markeas by Radio France.

 

As a choreographic accompanist he worked with choreographers Jarek Cemenek, Sylvie Berthomé, André Lafonta, Deborah Shannon-Diouf, Junior Ballet, Silvain Groud and the New York City Ballet.

 

He also worked alongside musicians Toquinho, Flávio Venturini, Ophélie Gaillard, Sisters Labèke, Michel Jarrel, Ivan Fedele, Ondřej Adámek, Caroline Delume, Fábio Presgrave, Carlos Tarcha, Ensemble Links, among others.

 

In 2014 he formed a group in Paris Conservatory to perform the works of Frank Zappa and attended Brazilian Music Saturday Jam Sessions in Paris, where he played with musicians such as Philippe Baden Powell and Natallino Neto.

 

Through music Rubens Lopes has played in 12 different countries and in 2017 was the first Brazilian accepted in a British Orchestra, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, where he occupied the spot as 2nd Percussionist (Trial Period).

 

Currently, Rubens tours internationally with Jean-Jacques Justafré’s Orchestra (GOJJJ, former Paul Mauriat Orchestra) and teaches a teacher-forming course in Fernandópolis, São Paulo. He also teaches workshops in the whole of Brazil, working on a research on music learning based on recent Neuroscience studies and develops a work based on snare-drum and free improvisation.