Arthur Napoleão dos Santos

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Arthur Napoleão, Warsaw, ca. 1860

Arthur Napoleão dos Santos (March 6, 1843 - May 12, 1925) was a Portuguese composer, pianist, instrument dealer and music publisher.


He was born in Porto, Portugal, and gave his first piano concert at the age of 7. When he was 8, supported by Ferdinand II of Portugal, Napoleão gave his first international concerts, visiting cities such as London (where he played at the Portuguese Embassy in the city) and Paris. Thereafter he toured all over Europe and America, sometimes playing duets with Henri Vieuxtemps or Henryk Wieniawski. At age 15, he performed in New York and critic Richard Storrs Willis attended "out of curiosity to see the sort of child that tickles Europe". Willis was impressed and noted him as "an extraordinary performer... His touch is exquisitely full of tenderness; his precision almost unerring; his power more than respectable, and his rounding of musical thought perfectly delightful."[1]

In 1866 he settled in Brazil, living in Rio de Janeiro. Here he set up shop to sell instruments and publish sheet music. He taught piano lessons, one of his pupils was Chiquinha Gonzaga and composed, almost exclusively piano pieces. He died in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, aged 82. He is the Patron of Chair 18 of the Brazilian Academy of Music.


Orchestra music[edit]

  • Camões (for orchestra and band)
  • L’Africaine (for piano e orchestra)
  • Acre state anthem
  • Espírito Santo state anthem

Piano pieces[edit]

  • A Brasileira
  • A Caprichosa
  • Elvira
  • A Fluminense
  • Uma primeira impressão do Brasil
  • Soirée de Rio
  • Soirées intimes
  • Teus olhos


  1. ^ Lawrence, Vera Brodsky. Strong on Music: The New York Music Scene in the Days of George Templeton Strong. The University of Chicago Press, 1999. vol. III, p. 214. ISBN 0-226-4705-6

Music scores[edit]