Born in Oporto (Portugal), Manuela Gouveia gave her first piano recital at the age of five when she started working with Helena Costa, finishing her studies at the Oporto Music Conservatory in the class of this famous Portuguese piano teacher and performer. At the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik (Germany), she obtained her Masters degree with the highest distinction as a student of Prof. Conrad Hansen. She continued her studies in Austria, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany with Jörg Demus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Vlado Perlemuter and Wilhelm Kempff.
Manuela Gouveia has played a number of European orchestras and conductors including Silva Pereira, Manuel Ivo Cruz, Álvaro Cassuto, Gunther Arglebe, A. Salazar, Ferreira Lobo, Marcel Dautremer, Henri Arends, E. van Remoortel, Nicholas Harsanyi and Rudolf Baumgartner. She has become widely known through her piano recitals highly acclaimed by critics in Portugal and other European countries, many of which have been transmitted by radio and television. She performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician all over Europe and at international music festivals and is highly appreciated for her master classes.
She has won several national and international piano prizes, including the International Competition for Young Musicians in Palma de Mallorca, the "Guilhermina Suggia" piano competition in Lisbon, the Oporto Symphony Orchestra prize and the interpretation prizes at the Portuguese-Brazilian piano competition in Covilhã, Portugal.
Manuela Gouveia has devoted a large part of her repertory to Portuguese piano music from the 18th to the 20th century making it known to a wider audience. Some of her CD recordings are dedicated to baroque and impressionist composers from Portugal, featuring also world premiers of unrecorded works (Pavane records).
In 1993, she has been awarded the Medal of Merit of the Republic of Portugal for her artistic representation of Portugal abroad.
Manuela Gouveia has been teaching at the Music Conservatory and at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Oporto (Portugal) and at the Music Conservatory of Bonn (Germany).
Until 2011 she was teaching at the Escola Superior de Música da Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain) city where she continues teaching master classes.
She is president and founding member of A.C.I.M. - the International Association of Music Master Classes of Óbidos (Portugal). Since 1996, the "Semana Internacional de Piano de Óbidos - S.I.P.O." piano master classes and Festival of Óbidos, have gained a worldwide reputation.