Photo credit: ©Martin Michiels
Diego Amaral Coutinho was born in Fortaleza, Brazil. He began studying the cello at the age of 14 with Carlos Albelto Ferreira Coutinho. Fascinated by this instrument, he continued his apprenticeship within the social project "Escola Viva" (Brazil), where he soon had the opportunity to perform in concert.
Encouraged by his entourage, he participated in 2006 in the competition of projects "Briançon Tempo do Brasil", for which he obtained the opportunity to study in France (Briançon - Hautes Alpes), with Professor Fernando Lima. There, he obtained his diploma of musical studies with unanimity and congratulations from the jury.
His meeting with Professor C. Zanotti led him to pursue his path further west, at the Conservatoire d'Angers. There he obtained his Diploma of Musical Studies (gold medal) in 2009. That same year, he also received the second prize in the Lempdes National Competition as well as the First Prize in the Lions Club Competition. Quickly, he turned to pedagogy and taught cello at the Music School of Mur Erigné (Pays de la Loire).
Diego entered the Royal Conservatory of Brussels in 2010, in the class of Professor Didier Poskin where he obtained his diploma of Master Didactic with distinction. Diego is passionate about chamber music. Since his early years of studies in Belgium, he has dedicated himself to the development of various ensembles, such as the Fractales contemporary music ensemble, the Xérès Quartet, the Trio Aviraï, the Bruxello Cello Quartet and the Duo Contrastes, and he participated in concerts in various European countries (Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, England and Belgium), and internationally in Russia and Brazil. He has won chamber music prizes in various groups such as Fractales, the Interpretation Prize at the International Summer Academy in Vienna, the Wilhelm Twee Chamber Music Competition in 2017 in Holland, the Vocatio Fundation Prize in Belgium, and with the Xérès Quartet, the first prize at the Horlait Dapsens Competition in Belgium.
In order to continue his learning around chamber music, Diego benefited from the teaching of teachers such as Guy Danel and Muhiddin Dürrüoglü. In the field of contemporary music, he collaborated with specialists such as conductors Jean Bernard Matter and Peter Eötvös, composers Claude Ledoux, Laurent Pigeolet, Bernard Gander, Henry Andersen, Sonja Mutic, Pierre Slinckx and Yann Robin. In addition, Diego and his ensemble Fractales received advice from leading specialists in contemporary music such as Igor Semenoff and Ictus, Ensemble Recherche, Barbara Lueneburg and Robert Black (Bang On A Can Ensemble).
Diego has extensive orchestral experience with, among others, the Eleazar de Carvalho Chamber Orchestra (Brazil), the Ceara Philharmonic Orchestra (Brazil), the Regis Pasquier Academy, the European Symphony Orchestra (principal cello), the "Scherzando" Chamber Orchestra, the Candide Symphonic Orchestra and he is currently substitute cello at the Brussels Philharmonic and principal cello at the Microcosme Chamber Orchestra.
He has been a professor at numerous music festivals, such as the "Musique en Ecrins" Festival, "Violoncelles en Folie" and the Beauvais Cello Festival. He is also Professor and guest concertist at the International Festival Violoncelos em Folia organised in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Diego crossed the road of Bossa Flor through Fernando Barros, and has been invited to participate in the project « Brassens dans tous ses états » in 2021.