Paulo Lopes was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where he started playing the piano at the age of six. At the age of nine, he was awarded a scholarship to the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon to study music and the arts. He joined the Conservatoire Nacional de Lisboa at the age of twelve where he had piano tuition from Leonor Leitão-Cadete for several years. He then went to London to continue his studies, studying at the Guildhall School of Music with Norman Beedie and with Maria Garzón. In 1997 he became a Licentiate of Trinity College, London, and has given numerous piano recitals, playing extensively in England and the south of France. He has won a variety of piano competitions in regional music festivals and manages Stoke Music, a music society devoted to keeping classical music live.