To some it is an ugly box, sitting at the top of Porto’s most important road, to others it is an artistic cultural centre. Whatever one’s opinion, Casa da Música was included in The Times’ top five buildings of the decade in 2009.
Casa da Música was conceived to mark 2001, the year in which Porto was Cultural Capital of Europe, and it is the first new building in Portugal to be entirely dedicated to music – to the presentation and public enjoyment of music, to music education and to the creation of music.
The building stands on the site of Porto’s former central tram garage on the Rotunda da Boavista, and Casa da Música opened its doors to the public on April 15th , 2005. The project was overseen by Francisco Pires, who was also the cultural director of Porto’s year as European Cultural Capital (2001).
Besides concerts, recitals and other types of performance, Casa da Música also organises events for musicians and musicologists and invests in research into the origins of Portuguese music. In addition, it plays a very important role in music education. It is a cultural meeting point between music and other areas of artistic creation and knowledge, providing a space for all kinds of audiences and creators.