In 1969, Prado won the first prize at the I Festival de Música da Guanabara for his Pequenos Funerais Cantantes. From 1970 to 1973, he had been studying with Olivier Messiaen and Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He also took lessons briefly from György Ligeti and Lukas Foss in Darmstadt.
After returning to Brazil in 1974, Almeida Prado started teaching at the Conservatório Municipal de Cubatão and later at the UNICAMP Institute of the Arts, where he remained until 2000. In January 2007, his Hiléia, Um Mural da Amazônia cantata, based on the eponymous poem by Ives Gandra Martins, was performed at Carnegie Hall by the Bachiana Filarmônica Orchestra under the baton of João Carlos Martins.