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São João da Madeira


SÃO JoÃO Da Madeira





Twin sisters and co-authors Marina and Natalia Pikoul graduated as composers from the renowned Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and went on to study at the Paris Conservatoire. They were international prize-winners as classical artists before they started to experiment in the ‘crossover’ genre. Many of their chamber and orchestral compositions have been performed in Russia, Japan, Great Britain, and France, and others have been published in Russia. In Moscow they were the winners of the 1989 Contemporary Music Competition, and their winning composition ‘Angel’ for baritone and piano was adopted as the obligatory contemporary work in the IX International Tchaikovsky Vocal Competition, 1990. In 2000 Natalia’s classical score for Christopher Hampton’s play ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ was used for a national tour of the UK. Also in 2000 Marina’s ‘Romance Sonámbulo’ for baritone and chamber ensemble was performed at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and at the International Festival of Contemporary Music in Aveiro, Portugal. The sisters recently completed a fantasy operetta ‘Margarita and Him’ after the modern novel ‘The Master and Margarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov. Many of their songs have been placed in the finals of various international songwriting competitions, ‘Fatal Spell’ was voted best composition in Portugal by the International Music Award Competition and has received an Honorable Mention in 11th Unisong International Contest . ‘Love is Out There’ won the Grand Prize in the second session of the 2006 John Lennon Songwriting contest and the Fourth prize in the 11th Unisong International Contest in the “World” category. ‘San Simon’ was nominated for the Los Angeles Music Award in 2007. “The Round” won the Second Prize in the Midwest Song Contest (“World” category) in 2007 and is the winner of the “Latin” category” of the West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest 2008, “Surrendering to love” is one of the winners of John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2007 (“World” category), “Sweet dreamer Solveig”has been chosen an Honorable mention winner in The 11th Cooch Music Amateur Songwriting Contest.

San Simon Project

The studio project ‘San Simon’ was inspired by the poems of the medieval Galego/ Portuguese troubadours, whose words are set in a modern music context. The sisters collaborated with classically trained singers and musicians, using acoustic instruments coloured by electronic timbres and pop/rock/ethnic influences. In this project Natalia and Marina are the composers, key-board players and backing vocalists. The project could be said to belong to the same broad genre as Vangelis, Enigma, Paul Schwartz, and Brian Eno.

Cecilia Fontes – soprano
Manuel Brás da Costa – counter-tenor
Marina and Natalia Pikoul – piano, synths, backing vocals
Lyra String Quartet (Richard Tomes, Suzanna
Lidegran – violins, David Wyn Lloyd – viola, Jed Barahal – cello)

‘San Simon’ – album availiable from
Ten songs – 42mins
Soloists Cecilia Fontes (Soprano) and Manuel Brás da Costa (Countertenor)
Lyra String Quartet (Richard Tomes, Suzanna Lidegran – violins, David Wyn Lloyd – viola, Jed Barahal – cello)
João Maló – guitar
Christian Schonberger – pan pipes

Producer Christian Schonberger and Pikoul Sisters


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