The Madeira Mandolin Orchestra was founded on 18th February 1913 and it is part of the Association Recreio Musical União da Mocidade. Its headquarters are located in the parish of São Roque, in Funchal (Madeira).
Since its founding, the Orchestra has been able to engage and captivate the local youth for its musical project, which distinguishes us, by developing the formation and quality of the young musicians, which has allowed the performance of almost fifty concerts, annually.
After a phase as Recreational Music Group, the commitment and the creativity of the Maestro Ernesto Serrão (1924-1935), contributed decisively for the launching of the Orchestra.
In the 70’s, after Maetro Carlos Gomes and Alfredo Pestana, Maestro Elmano Gomes had created a new dynamic by extending the musical school to female gender at the Institution, a dynamic still in use today.
With Maestro Eurico Martins, the Orchestra’s first international appearance occurred in 1994, during the 5th edition of the “FRANCISCO TÁRREGA” International Orquestras Festival, in Valencia (Spain).
In February 1996, during the 83rd Association Anniversary, the first CD was edited with the title “O Bem da Arte”. Now, the Orchestra has edited four other CDs (“Bandolins”, “A Bem da Arte II”, “Napolitan Songs” e “Light Classics”) and two DVDs (“Light Classics – Madeira Mandolin Orchestra | Orquestra de Bandolins da Madeira” e “Mandolin Orchestra Madeira Island Orquestra de Bandolins – The Youngest Mandolins Orchestra in the World).
In May 2002 the Orchestra toured the South of England, giving eight concerts in different locations: Weston Super Mare, Bristol, Bath, Wells, Salisbury, Portsmouth, Maidenhead and at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, the latter integrated in the commemoration of the Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
In Abril 2005 the Orchestra held a concert at Mosteiro dos Jerónimos – Lisbon, integrated on the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the monument. On the same year, it participated on the 39th La Rioja International Music Festival, in Logroño, Spain.
In July 2006, the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra participated on the 6th Remiremont Mandolin Orchestras International Festival, in France.
In September 2007 it performed at the DIE BUHNE Theatre, in St. Polten City, Austria, during the Hofe Festival.
At the end of June 2009, the Orchestra gave two concerts during the “Festival ao Largo” at Teatro Nacional São Carlos, in Lisbon, with the participation of the Tenor Carlos Guilherme and the Conductor Jorge Salgueiro. On the following month the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra toured England for the second time, in the company of Tenor Carlos Guilherme, giving 10 concerts in different locations: St- Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, Petersfield Utd Reformed Church, Town Hall Maldon-Essex, Albert Hall-Nottingham, Holy Trinity-Huddersfield, The Grand Clitheroe, Brangwyn Hall-Swansea, Lichfield Garrick, The Forum-Bath et à St- George- Bristol.
In September 2011, premiers at the CCB large auditorium and was the commemorative concert covering 30 years of the career of the Tenor Carlos Guilherme toghether with Soprano Elisabete Matos (our top opera singer), the Conductors João Paulo Santos and Armando Vidal, Baritone João Merino, fado singer António Pinto Basto and Singer Telmo Miranda. In June 2012, participated in XXXIII Madeira Music Festival.
In February 2013, by the occasion of the association’s centenary, the orchestra was distinguished with the gold medal by the madeira government.
Eurico Martins was responsible for the formation of all the musicians and directs the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra since 1994 until December 2014.
Since then, the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra is conducted by Maestro André Martins, son of Maestro Eurico Martins.
In addition to the weekly concerts at the Madeira Congress Centre through each season, in March 2017, the Orchestra participated in the I Guitars Festival of the Algarve at the invitation of guitarist Eudoro Grade, in Tavira and Sines.