- Gerhild Romberger Mezzo-soprano
- Alexander Grassauer Bass-Baritone
Coro Gulbenkian was founded in 1964 by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation as a full symphonic body of around 100 singers. The choir joins the Orquestra Gulbenkian and other orchestras to perform Classical, Romantic and Contemporary choral-symphonic repertoire, but can also perform a cappella. It has performed – and often premiered – many 20th century works by Portuguese and international composers.
Coro Gulbenkian has been invited to collaborate with major international orchestras, under the direction of conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Colin Davis, John Nelson, Emmanuel Krivine, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Frans Brüggen, Franz Welser-Möst, Gerd Albrecht, Michael Gielen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, René Jacobs and Leonard Slatkin, among others.
Besides its regular season of concerts in Lisbon and frequent national tours, Coro Gulbenkian has repeatedly toured Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macao, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Uruguay.
Coro Gulbenkian has recorded extensively for Philips, Deutsche Grammophon, Erato, Cascavelle, Musifrance, as well as FNAC-Music, performing a wide range of repertoire, from Early-Renaissance polyphony to Xenakis. Several of these albums received international awards.
In 1962, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation decided to establish a permanent orchestral ensemble. Originally with only twelve musicians (strings and continuo) it was named “Orquestra de Câmara Gulbenkian”. This collective was successively enlarged and today the “Orquestra Gulbenkian” (the name it has adopted since 1971) has a permanent body of sixty instrumentalists, a number that can be expanded depending on the repertoire.
This structure allows the Gulbenkian Orchestra to interpret works from the Baroque and Classical periods, a significant part of 19th century orchestral literature and much of the music of the 20th century, including works belonging to the current repertoire of the traditional symphonic orchestras. In each season, the orchestra performs on a regular series of concerts at the Gulbenkian Grand Auditorium in Lisbon, where it has had the opportunity of working together with some of leading names of the world of music (conductors and soloists). It has also performed on numerous locations all over Portugal, in an effort to decentralize music and culture.
The orchestra has been constantly expanding its activities in the international level, performing in Europe, Asia Africa, and the Americas. In the recording field, Orquestra Gulbenkian is associated to labels as Philips, Deutsche Grammophon, Hyperion, Teldec, Erato, Adès, Nimbus, Lyrinx, Naïve and Pentatone, among others, and this activity was recognized with several international prizes.
Gulbenkian Orchestral Course Artistic Director
Acclaimed Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro is Principal Guest Conductor of the Real Filharmonia de Galicia. She is also Artistic Director of the Estágio Gulbenkian para Orquestra, a post she has held since 2013.
Joana Carneiro was Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa at Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon from 2014 until January 2022. From 2009 to 2018 she was Music Director of Berkeley Symphony, succeeding Kent Nagano as only the third music director in the 40-year history of the orchestra. She was also official guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra from 2006 to 2018.
Recent and future guest conducting highlights include engagements with the BBC Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Gothenburg Symphony, Norrkoping Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic (whom she conducted at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in December 2017), Swedish Radio Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and the BBC Scottish Symphony.
In opera, recent projects include The Handmaid’s Tale (ENO), Nixon in China (Scottish Opera), Rake´s Progress (Lisbon), Carmen (Royal Stockholm Opera), Wonderful Town (Royal Danish Opera), The Gospel According to the Other Mary (English National Opera), La Passion de Simone (Ojai Festival), Oedipus Rex (Sydney) and A Flowering Tree (Vienna, Paris, Chicago, Cincinnati, Gothenburg, Lisbon).
A native of Lisbon, she began her musical studies as a violist before receiving her conducting degree from the Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra in Lisbon, followed by her Masters degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University.
Carneiro is the 2010 recipient of the Helen M. Thompson Award, conferred by the League of American Orchestras to recognize and honour music directors of exceptional promise. In 2004, Carneiro was decorated by the President of the Portuguese Republic, Mr. Jorge Sampaio, with the Commendation of the Order of the Infante Dom Henrique.
Praised for her luminous voice, musical sensitivity and versatility, Belgian soprano Ilse Eerens enjoys an international opera and concert career in repertoire that spans from Bach to works of the 21st century.
Most recent engagements include returns to the Salzburger Festspiele as 1.Dame/Die Zauberflöte, to the Opéra National de Lyon as Hero in Berlioz’ Beatrice et Benedict and in arias by Donizetti and Rossini as part of New Year’s concerts, Bach’s Messe in h-moll with Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Pamina in concert performances of Die Zauberflöte with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, Fauré’s Requiem with the Brussels Philharmonic, Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dvorák’s Requiem with the Antwerp Symphony and Philippe Herreweghe, Bach’s Matthäus Passion with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, with Ton Koopman at the Bachfest Leipzig, Capella Mediterranea and Het Residentie Orkest, Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge with the Beethovenorchester Bonn, Celia in Lucio Silla with Choeur Accentus in Beaune and Paris as well as Schubert’s Mass in A flat in Rouen.
In 2022-23, Ms Eerens will return to La Monnaie as Sophie/Der Rosenkavalier, perform Dvorak’s Stabat Mater and Mozart’s Requiem with the Brussels Phiharmonic, Hans Abrahamsen’s Let Me Tell You with Basel Sinfonietta, Bach’s Cantata Auf, schmetternde Töne (BWV 207a) with the Orquesta y Coro Nacional d’España and Ton Koopman, Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with the Noord Nederlands Orkest, Mozart’s Requiem with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Beethoven’s Symphony no 9 with the Orchestra of the 18th Century.
Previous opera highlights include a celebrated role debut as Tschang-haitang in Zemlinsky’s Der Kreidekreis for Opéra de Lyon, Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte at the Salzburger Festspiele, Pamina at Opera de Lille, her role debut as Melisande in Pelléas et Mélisande at Stadttheater Klagenfurt, the title role in Sasha Waltz’ production of Toshio Hosokawa’s Matsukaze in Warsaw and Tokyo, Marianne in HK Gruber’s Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald at the Bregenzer Festspiele and Theater an der Wien, La Vierge in Honegger’s Jeanne au Bûcher and the title-role in Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, both for the Opéra National de Lyon, Kitchenboy in Rusalka for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Matilda in Rossini’s Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra at Theater an der Wien, Despina in Cosi fan tutte and Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro, both with the Orchestra of the 18th Century and the soprano part in Lady Sarashina by Péter Eötvös at Opera Narodowa in Warsaw and at the Opéra National de Lyon.
Ilse Eerens is a regular guest at La Monnaie in Brussels in roles such as Pamina, La Vierge, Celia in Lucio Silla, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Jemmy in a concert version of Guillaume Tell (also at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam), Noémie in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Antigone in Enescu’s Oedipe, Amanda in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, a part she has also performed at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and at the Adelaide Music Festival in Australia. Equally sought-after in concert repertoire, she has performed Schubert’s Mass in E flat Major with the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Riccardo Muti, Bach’s Johannes-Passion with the Orchestra National de Radio France, Gottfried von Einem’s Der Prozess with the Radiosinfonieorchester Wien under HK Gruber at the Salzburg Festival and Wiener Konzerthaus, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées under Philippe Herreweghe, Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Nederlands Radio Philharmonic, Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España in Madrid and the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Debussy’s La Demoiselle élue with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Haydn’s Seasons with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang and Paulus and Bach’s Matthäus Passion with the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig and the world premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s Nach dem Sturm with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
Available on CD and DVD are Haydn’s Jahreszeiten with Concerto Köln and Marcus Creed (Carus), Nach dem Sturm with the Orquesta Sinfonia de Euskadi under Jun Maerkl, Dvořák’s Requiem and Stabat Mater (Record of the Month/Gramophone Magazine) with Philippe Herreweghe, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with with Collegium Vocale and Philippe Herreweghe, Bach’s Osteroratorium with the Orchestra of the 18th Century and Frans Brüggen, Willy Decker’s production of Schoenberg’s Moses und Aaron with Michael Boder and the Bochumer Symphoniker and songs by Antonio Salieri (SWR/Hänssler Classic).
Ms Eerens has also worked with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Hartmut Haenchen, Lorenzo Viotti, Kazushi Ono, Peter Dijkstra, Richard Egarr, Laurence Equilbey, Dirk Kaftan, Jean-Christoph Spinosi, Michael Schønwandt, Kenneth Montgomery, Mark Wigglesworth, Jaap van Zweden, Constantinos Carydis, Claus Peter Flor, Antonello Manacorda and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Awards include the Arleen Auger prize in the International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, where she was the only the finalist who excelled in all the three categories of Opera, Oratorio and Lieder, and the 3rd prize at the ARD Musikwettbewerb 2006.
Finnish tenor Tuomas Katajala is one of the most versatile and sought-after Scandinavian tenors and has achieved noticeable success not just as an opera singer, but as a concert singer as well. He studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki as well as in Rome and Amsterdam and has a longstanding and close relationship with the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki and the Savonlinna Opera Festival, where he made his stage debut as Tamino/Die Zauberflöte. Following this, he was accepted into the master class at the Accademia Rossiniana and undertook the role of Libenskopf in Il Viaggio a Reims under the baton of Alberto Zedda at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro.
Past seasons' opera highlights include, among others, Tamino/Die Zauberflöte at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin and Opéra de Lille, Almaviva/Il barbiere di Siviglia at Komische Oper Berlin, Ferrando/Così fan tutte at Seattle Opera, Steuermann/Der fliegende Holländer in Helsinki and in a concert performance with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni at Finnish National Opera, as well as Belmonte/Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
In 2019, he made his debut as Max in Der Freischütz on the occasion of a concert tour with concerts in Vienna, Brussels, Caen, Luxemburg, Aix-en-Provence and at Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele. This engagement marked a change in repertoire and was followed by debuts as Loge/Rheingold at the Finnish National Opera and Idomeneo in Tel Aviv.
Katajala's vast concert- and oratorio repertoire includes the key works by J.S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Mahler and Britten. He sang at different music festivals in the USA (i.a. Avery Fisher Hall in New York), France (Salle Pleyel in Paris), Germany (Laeiszhalle Hamburg), Scandinavia, Spain, the UK (Glyndebourne Festival), and Japan.
Tuomas Katajala worked together with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mikko Franck, Klaus Mäkelä, Susanna Mälkki, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Hannu Lintu, and Santtu-Matias Rouvali.
Engagements in the season 2021/22 include the new productions of Don Giovanni/Don Ottavio at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre and Braunfels' Die Vögel/Hoffegut in Strasbourg and Mulhouse, as well as Zauberflöte/Tamino in Tampere.
On the concert stage he can be heard in Stravinsky's Renard with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas Collon, in Schnittke's Faust Cantata with Rome's Accademia di Santa Cecilia and Antonio Pappano, as Ferrando in a concert version of Così fan tutte with the Kammerakademie Potsdam under Antonello Manacorda, in Dvorak's Stabat Mater with the Orchestre de Pau Pays de Béarn, as well as in Bach's St John Passion with the Orquestra Gulbenkian in Lisbon.
In the season 2022/23 Tuomas will be on stage as Tamino/Zauberflöte at the Finnish National Opera as well as in Savonlinna, and as Max/Der Freischütz at Theater an der Wien, among others. In addition, he can be heard in Beethoven's Symphony no 9 with the Wiener Symphoniker under Klaus Mäkelä, in Britten's "Serenade for tenor and horn" with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and as Loge in a concert performance of Rheingold in Singapore.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9, in D minor, op. 125
For some years, Joana Carneiro divided her passion for music with an academic path that led her to study medicine. However, at the age of 18, when she conducted an orchestra for the first time and led that immense mass of sound through Beethoven’s music (Symphony No. 1), she realised that the call could not be ignored. Beethoven has been present at key moments in the conductor’s career and it is to the German composer that she now returns with the Gulbenkian Choir and Orchestra to conduct Symphony No. 9, one of the most iconographic works in the repertoire.
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