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Luís Cília

Luís Fernando Castelo Branco Cília OL (born February 1, 1943 in Nova Lisboa, Angola) is a Portuguese composer and performer.

Luís Cília is an intervention singer who, while in exile in France, denounced the colonial war and the lack of freedom in Portugal. One of his best-known songs from that period, Avante camarada, became a kind of second anthem of the Portuguese Communist Party.

He came to Portugal from Angola in 1959 to pursue his studies. In 1962 he met the poet Daniel Filipe who encouraged him to set poetry to music. His first experiences in this field date back to that year (“My country”, “The black boy did not enter the wheel”, among others), later included on his first album, recorded in France, for the Chant du Monde label. In April 1964 he left for Paris, where he lived until 1974. In France he studied classical guitar with António Membrado and composition with Michel Puig. Between 1964 and 1974 he gave recitals in almost every country in Europe.

After his return to Portugal he continued to record records, as a composer and performer and to give recitals. As a performer, he has recorded eighteen albums, some of which are dedicated to poets such as Eugénio de Andrade (“O Peso da Sombra”), Jorge de Sena (“Sinais de Sena”) or David Mourão Ferreira (“Penumbra”).

In recent years he has dedicated himself solely to composition, namely for Theatre, Ballet and Cinema.

On June 9, 1994, he was awarded the rank of Officer of the Order of Liberty.

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