Thaís Fernandes Santos is a Brazilian flutist and interdisciplinary researcher. She holds a Ph.D. degree in music performance – Flute (2017) from Federal University of Minas Gerais, under the supervision of Professor Maurício Loureiro (UFMG) and Dr. Marcelo Wanderley (McGill). Her Ph.D. thesis ‘The relationship between ancillary gestures and musical phrase organization: application on flute performance’ investigates how musicians’ expressive intentions reflect on physical movements. By assuming that motion is associated with musical communication, this study investigates whether gestures can express how performers understand the musical structure and convey a musical phrase’s direction.

She received a B.A. degree in Music with an emphasis on Flute performance (2009) also from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and the M.A. degree in Music Interpretation with a focus on Flute performance (2013) from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Her master’s thesis discusses how professional musicians learn and which practice strategies they use during their musical practice.

Picture by Débora Carneiro

Her research interests include the study of acoustical parameters and human movements, such as acquiring, tracking, and recognizing physical gestures. Furthermore, she dedicates her time studying feminist theories, public politics, and women (in)visibility in music, investigating the consequences of the genre in Brazilian classical Music.

Currently, she is an associate researcher in Brazilian research groups: Teaching and learning process: the study of effective practice of instrument (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul); [eMMa] Núcleo de Estudos em Música e Musicologia Audiotátil (Federal University of Espírito Santo).

Picture by Débora Carneiro

As a flute player, Thaís performed with the Espírito Santo Symphony Orchestra, during 2010 and 2013. Besides, she collaborated with the Minas Gerais Symphony Orchestra, both in Brazil. She was the principal flute of the Palácio das Artes Young Symphony Orchestra in 2008. Also, she performed in ensemble music such as Trio A Tempo and Duets of flute and piano and flute and bassoon (for more information see Musical Performance).

In 2020, Thaís made a documentary about women musicians in classical music, TACET. The film builds the scene of Brazilian classical music through three musicians, Sara, Catarina, e Catherine.

She uses her interdisciplinary knowledge to bridge the gaps between scientific research and musical performance, contributing to both domains.