Joana Gama was born in 1983 in Braga, Portugal. At five, Joana enrrolled at the Calouste Gulbenkian Conservatory of Music where she had piano lessons with Ema Pais Martins, Ana Rita Lima and João Paulo Teixeira. She continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with Vanessa Latarche and later at the Lisbon College of Music (ESML), where she graduated in 2005, having studied under Tania Achot. In 2010 Joana finished her Master’s degree in Piano Performance under the guidance of António Rosado and Benoît Gibson at Evora University, where she is currently enrolled in the doctoral program on portuguese contemporary music for piano, with a scholarship by FCT.
She participated in Masterclasses with Helena Sá e Costa, Luiz de Moura Castro, Sofia Lourenço, Ralf Natkemper, Vitaly Margulis and Vladimir Viardo (piano) and with Olga Prats, Felix Rengli, Avedis Kouyoumdjan e Igor Naidin (Borodin Quartet) in chamber music.
Joana favours 20th and 21st century repertoire, frequently incorporating contemporary portuguese music in her performances. She participated in the première of works by Luís Tinoco, [ka’mi], Fernando Lobo, Ana Seara, Hugo Ribeiro, João Antunes, Sara Claro, Sofia Rocha e Luís Cardoso, namely in the concerts “Peças Frescas” in Teatro São Luiz, Lisbon.
She performed solo in the first edition of the festival “Música Portuguesa, Hoje” at Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) and in the 2010th, 2011th and 2014th editions of the festival “Dias da Música” also at CCB.
In 2005 Joana won first prize at the national competition Prémio Jovens Músicos (Young Musicians Prize – PJM) in the category of piano accompaniment and first prize again in 2008 in the category of piano. She also obtained the third prize in the chamber music category in 2004. She was a soloist with Gulbenkian Orchestra at the prize winners’ concert at Casa da Música, Oporto, in 2008, with live broadcast by Antena 2 and UER/EBU. As a result of PJM she gave solo recitals in Teatro São Luiz in Lisbon, Casa da Música, in Oporto and was a soloist with Algarve Orchestra.
Between 2005 and 2009 she collaborated regularly with the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, and worked with conducters as Cesário Costa, Michael Zilm, Jean-Sébastien Béreau or Pablo Heras-Casado. She also collaborated the National Youth Orchestra in the premières of works by Christopher Bochmann and, more recently, she also collaborated with the Lisbon Ensemble 20/21, Orchestrutopica and Sond’Ar-Te Electric Ensemble.
Between 2004 and 2010, Joana integrated the teaching staff of Metropolitana, as piano accompanist in ANSO and piano teacher at CMML.
As a pianist and performer, in the last few years, she has been involved in projects that associate music with different fields, from dance (Tânia Carvalho, Luís Guerra, Útero), to theater (Esticalimógama), photography (Eduardo Brito) and cinema (João Botelho, Miguel Seabra Lopes and Leonor Noivo).
Recently she has released her first album: QUEST, a piano and electronics project shared with the musician Luís Fernandes, edited by the portuguese music label Shhpuma.
Joana is a founding member of CAAA Centro for Art and Architecture Affairs – Guimarães and O Homem do Saco, atelier of tipography and editions. She has recorded several times for the national classical music station Antena 2.