Claudio Franco de Sá Santoro (Manaus, 23-11-1919 - Brasilia, 27-03-1989) was one of the most restless and versatile musicians of our time. Boy prodigy, inspired creator and brilliant interpreter, dynamic organizer, lucid educator and researcher, he developed national and internationally intense activity as a composer, conductor, professor, organizer, administrator, article writer, jury member, Brazilian representative in conferences and international organizations, being invited by several Governments and foreign institutions.
He was distinguished with the following Prizes: Brazilian Symphony Orchestra (1943), Chamber Music Guild of Washington and RCA Victor (1944), Interventor Dornelles (1945), Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (New York, 1946), French Government for masters degree studies in Paris (1947), Lili Boulanger (Boston, 1948), Berkshire Music Center (Boston, 1949), Gold Medal of the Rio de Janeiro's Theatrical Critics Association (1950), numerous prizes for film soundtracks, including the State of São Paulo and Gold Medal of the Rio de Janeiro's Association of movie critics (between 1951 and 1958), the International Peace Prize (Vienna, 1953), Saci (Brazilian Oscar, 1954), State of São Paulo (1959), Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro (1960), Ministry of the Education and Culture (for the inauguration of Brasilia -1960), Association of Journalists of Brasilia (1964), "Jornal do Brazil" (1965), Best Work of the Guanabara Festival (1970) Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro (1973), Gold Dolphin (1977), Moinho Santista Award (1979), Ciccilo Matarazzo (1985), Shell (1985), Sarney Law (1987).
He received the following badges: Government of Amazonas (1969), cross of Merit "Bundesverdienstkreuz" (Germany, 1979), Medal of the Merit of the State of Amazonas (1982), Order of Rio Branco (1985), Order of the Merit of Brasilia (1986), Government of Bulgaria (1986), Government of Poland (1987), Order of the Merit Alvorada (1987), Government of France (posthumous, 1989). And the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District - through project of the Member of the house of representatives Lúcia Carvalho - granted him the title of Honorary Citizen of Brasilia, in solemn session carried through in the National Theatre Claudio Santoro in 01-08-2003 and he received the title Doctor Honoris Causa in 19-10-2005 at the University of Brasilia (UnB).
He was invited by the Government of the German Federal Republic for the Program "Resident Artist in West Berlin" (1966/67) and by the Brahms Foundation as Resident Artist of the Brahms House (Baden Baden).
Among the carried out positions, titles and activities. stand out: Founder and Principal of the Chamber Orchestra's of Radio MEC and the University of Brasilia, the Symphonic Orchestra's of the Radio Club of Brazil and the National Theater of Brasilia; Titular, Coordinating professor for the Musical Subjects, Director and Organizer of the Music Department of the University of Brasilia; President of the Order of the Musicians of Brazil (Brasilia Section); Musical Director of the Cultural Foundation of the Federal District; Member of the Managing Council of the Inter-American Music Council; Organizer and Director of the Center of Diffusion and Information for the music of Latin America together with the Institute of Comparative Studies of Music and Documentation (former West-Berlin); Member of the Brazilian Academy of Music, the Brazilian Academy of Arts and the Academy of Music and Letters of Brazil, of which he was President.
Between 1970 and 1978 he was Professor of Conducting and Composition, Director of the Orchestra and the Music Department of Heidelberg-Mannheim's State Superior Music School, in Germany. Guest conductor of the most important orchestras of the world such as Philharmonic of Leningrad, Moscow State Orchestra, RIAS Berlin, ORTF Paris, OSSODRE Montevideo, Beethovenhalle Bonn, Symphonic of the Radio of Prague, Philharmonic of Bucharest, Symphonic of Orchestra of Porto, Philharmonic of Sofia, PRO ART (London) Île de France (Paris), Symphonic of the Leipzig Radio, Symphonic of Magdeburg, Philharmonic of Warsaw etc. besides of all the Brazilian Orchestras.
Claudio Santoro died in Brasilia on the 27th of March 1989, while conducting the general rehearsal of the Season's 1st concert, which would be in homage to the Bicentennial of the French Revolution. His artistic, educational and political engagement was striking and influenced several generations, giving life to countless organizations of musical character or pedagogic stamp and physiognomy to teaching institutions and even to cities.
After his death, the Governor Orestes Quércia (SP) handed down a decree giving Claudio Santoro's name to the Auditorium of Campos de Jordão. The City Hall of Cascavel also so denominated its Theatre. And at the 1st of September 1989, through project of Senator Maurício Correia, and approved by the Commission of the Federal District, the Federal Senate promulgated Law that denominates National Theatre Claudio Santoro the until then National Theatre of Brasilia. In his honor and destined to be in charge of the Arts in general, has been created in Brasilia in 1995 the Cultural Association Claudio Santoro - of which the 1st president was the distinguished Amazonian, Senator Bernardo Cabral - current president: pianist and professor Jaci Tofano.