Wednesday, 24 May 2017
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May EventsThis month's events include Incas of Yesterday and Today: Talk by Dr François Luis Blanc, Portugal in Africa: Talk by Peter Kingdon Booker and Music from the Operas with Mezzo Soprano Esther Pierweijer and pianist Irene Ainstein.

Incas of Yesterday and Today: Talk by Dr François Luis Blanc
François Luis-Blanc is a medical doctor specialising in paediatrics and infectious diseases. He also has a Master ́s degree in human biology and is currently Guest Professor at the universities of Guatemala and Cusco. From 1973 until 2005, his professional career was spent in Guatemala, Brazil, the USA, Peru, England and France. He has been a member of the Academy of Sciences in New York, the Conseil d´administration de l´ Alliance Française in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and of the Société des Américanistes, Musée de l´Homme et des Arts Premiers, Quai Branly, Paris. He is the author of over 20 books.
In 1981 François visited the Andes on his first medical research mission, and spent two years in teaching about infectious diseases and doing field research with the students of the medical school at Cusco. He participated in the foundation of this medical school which includes in its curriculum community work in the Andean ayllus around the Sacred Valley and courses about traditional medicine. The school has an official policy to integrate traditional healers and shamans with the public health service. In this talk François will emphasise firstly the remarkable Andean adaptative conditioning to specific environmental threats and secondly the birth of Andean cultures, community life and spirituality in a history spanning thousands of years. The question of the survival of pre-hispanic knowledge will be addressed at the same time.

The talks have been organised by the Algarve History Association and the will be held on Monday 15 May at 6 pm in the Municipal Library Tavira and on Tuesday 23 May at 6 pm in the Convento São José, Lagoa.

For more information contact:

Portugal in Africa: Talk by Peter Kingdon Booker
Peter Booker was a Foundation Exhibitioner at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he obtained his degree in Modern History and he also has an MBA from the Open University. He took a break from history with his 30 year career as a Human Resource Manager with the National Coal Board, latterly British Coal. Peter has given over 100 lectures, regularly in Tavira, Lagoa and São Brás and occasionally in Elvas, Lisbon, Porto, Hedingham Castle and the Cavalry and Guards Club in London.

Portugal until 1975 had five African colonies - Angola, Mozambique, Guiné, Cabo Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe; until 1961, Portugal even had an outpost in Dahomey. All of these territories were all let go after the Carnation Revolution. That Revolution provided a shock to metropolitan Portugal, but the shock to the African empire was immeasurably greater. Yet for all the effort put into keeping the African colonies during the wars of 1961 - 1974, were the colonies ever more than an historical tradition? At the Berlin Conference in 1884, the Portuguese brought all of their historic claims to huge chunks of the continent; they tried to occupy even more with the mapa cor-de-rosa. But it eventually appeared that practically none of this was ever economically viable. What was the story behind the African colonies? Why did Portugal struggle so long to retain them? Did they ever pay their way? Peter Booker examines Portugal ́s African possessions and shows their real value to the nation.

The talks will be held on Friday 19 May at 11 am in the Municipal Library, Tavira and on Tuesday 20 May at 6 pm in the Convento São José, Lagoa.

For more information contact:

Music from the Operas with Mezzo Soprano Esther Pierweijer and pianist Irene Ainstein
The Dutch mezzo-soprano Esther Pierweijer graduated in singing at the Conservatory of Enschede, and then completed her Masters in Singing in Rotterdam and Cologne. She studied with Anne Haenen, Roberta Alexander, Alberto ter Doest and Dieter Schweikart and for several years was coached by the famous mezzo-soprano Jard van Nes. Currently she is coached by Sasja Hunnego. She attended masterclasses with Nancy Argenta, Ira Siff and Rudolf Jansen. In recent years Esther has won prizes at several competitions, including the Euro-region Vocal Competition, Foundation for Young Music Talent Netherlands and the competition for contemporary music in Weimar, Germany, where she won the second prize. She has also performed in various opera, operetta and musical productions and worked with conductors such as Jaap van Zweden, Kenneth Montgomery, Nicolaï Alexeev, Jiggs Whigham, Maurice Luttikhuis and orchestras such as The Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dutch Symphony Orchestra, the Metropole orchestra and The New Symphonics. She has appeared in children's shows, including those of Willem Wilmink, and on stage with violinist Janine Jansen (including the series Hollands Good), in which they played The Canto General by the now deceased composer Peter Schat. This recording was also broadcast on the radio programme “The Netherlands” on Radio 4. In 2011, Esther Pierweijer won a scholarship from the Dutch Wagner Society and she was their guest at the Bayreuthfestival in 2011. With pianist Abigail Richards, she gave a number of concerts for the Dutch Wagner Society and her repertoire included Wagner, Mahler and Strauss songs. In December 2014 she gave three concerts as soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Last season she appeared in several Dutch theatres with Marco Bakker and The New Symphonics conducted by Maurice Luttikhuis. Esther regularly gives chamber music concerts with varied programmes.

English born Irene Ainstein won first prize in a competition for Young Musicians after only a year of piano study. After the conclusion of High School, she entered the Superior School Het Twents Conservatorium where she obtained diplomas in Chamber Music, and as Accompanist and Soloist. Irene has played in a number of ensembles and orchestras and has performed in Holland, Germany, England and China. She has also made recordings and participated in several festivals and masterclasses in Germany, England and Holland. Irene is Education Director at the Conservatório Regional in Faro and she continues to perform in concerts with members of the Orchestra of Algarve, with Hungarian violinist, Èdua Zadory; 40 fingers piano with fellow Dutch pianists Marlies van Gent, Inge Lulofs and Frank Fahner; and she is the accompanist to singers such as sopranos Birgit Wegemann and Olga Heikkila and to mezzo soprano Esther Pierweijer. Since 2010, she has used her home near Tavira to host chamber music concerts, and without her continuing cooperation this annual concert series could not exist.

Esther and Irene will be performing works by Handel, Giacomelli, Mozart, Bizet, Brahms, R Strauss, Rachmaninov, Weill and Menotti.

The concert is at 5 pm on 28 May at the Quintinha da Música near Santo Estevão, Tavira. Tickets are €25 and can be obtained from: