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.
Tianyi Lu is making a name for herself across multiple continents. The young New Zealander is the Assistant Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Principal Conductor of the St. Woolos Sinfonia in the UK, and was recently a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. She has worked with the Hallé Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Welsh College of Music Symphony Orchestra and the Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra. Lu was an active participant in Daniele Gatti’s esteemed masterclasses with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in June 2018. In January 2018, she conducted an education concert featuring Dvořák Symphony No. 9 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and returned to the UK for a concert of Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 with the Gwent Youth Orchestra and to conduct the Brahms Double Concerto with St. Woolos Sinfonia in April 2018. She was selected to attend the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors with the Dallas Opera in 2016 and was subsequently invited back to assist on their production of La Traviata and to conduct a mainstage concert of Donizetti in 2017.
Upcoming highlights include concerts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, concerts in Lisbon and on tour in Portugal with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, a family concert with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, performances with the Bucharest Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra.
Lu has worked closely with Sir Andrew Davis, Carlo Rizzi, Gustavo Dudamel, Susanna Mälkki, Matthias Pintscher, Simone Young and Carlo Montanaro. In previous masterclass and assistant roles, Lu has received invaluable advice by conductors and ensembles including Bernard Haitink as part of the Lucerne Festival Masterclass, Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra and Thomas Søndergård and Xian Zhang with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In 2014 she was voted a finalist at the twelfth Interaktion Dirigentenwerkstatt des Kritischen Orchesters by players from the Berlin Philharmonic and from other top orchestras in Germany.
Lu’s repertoire interests include late romantic (Mahler, Bruckner, Strauss), Russian composers (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky) as well as finding new interpretations of the Germanic canon (Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms). Her experience in opera is expanding, especially in French and Italian repertoire. Her broad musical interests and her passion for contemporary music led to her studying electronic music composition as well as to studies in baroque flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord. She has been involved in the Sistema Aotearoa programme in New Zealand, inspired by the Venezuelan model, and she is strongly committed to education and outreach projects.
Born in Shanghai, Lu’s family subsequently moved to New Zealand. She completed her Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours at the University of Auckland with Uwe Grodd and Karen Grylls, before studying at the University of Melbourne with John Hopkins. In 2015 Lu completed her Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting with Distinction at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Jones.
The Tempest, Suite no. 1, op. 109/2
Romeo and Juliet
(suites 1 and 2 – selection)
In these Sunday Concerts, the energetic and creative attitude of the conductor Tianyi Lu is put at the service of two fascinating works, linked by inspiration in the work of William Shakespeare. The challenge for Sibelius to create music from The Tempest, a play in which the English playwright sets Prospero to resort to magic to unleash a storm and cause a shipwreck, would stimulate in the composer one of his most stunning symphonic pieces. Prokofiev, for his part, created the ballet Romeo and Juliet, a dance version of the archetypal romantic narrative.
Sponsor Gulbenkian Music
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