Alvaro Afonso
Trovador tardio

Nationality: Portuguesa

Biographical Note:

The attributive item that accompanies the composition of this late author adds to his name the title "cantor do senhor infante" (singer of the prince), allowing us to locate him in a relatively reliable way. In fact, one Alvaro Afonso exercised the role of singer and, later on, of master of the royal chapel in the court of the Portuguese monarch Afonso V (1438-1481), functions carried out at least since the decade of 40 of the 15th century. Thereby, the chancellery of this monarch mentions that Alvaro Afonso was sent to England in 1452 to obtain informations pertaining to the english royal chapel. He would equally be the author of several pieces of church music, namely the piece commemorating the battle of Arzila, dated 1471, that did not reach us1. Furthermore, the composition included in the Vaticana Songbook further tells us that he must have begun his role during the childhood of the king, that is, during the regency of his uncle, prince Dom Pedro, Duke of Coimbra (certainly the prince mentioned in the same item).


1 Minervini, Vincenzo (1993), "Alvaro Afonso", in Lanciani, Giulia e Tavani, Giuseppe (org.), Dicionário da Literatura Medieval Galega e Portuguesa, Lisboa, Editorial Caminho.

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