On 20 July, at 6.30pm, the Foundation’s open air Amphitheatre hosts the Calouste Gulbenkian 2016 Award ceremony followed by a concert by the Gulbenkian Orchestra, conducted by Pedro Neves with the pianist Mário Laginha. On the evening’s program are the Concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Mário Laginha and premiered at the International Music Festival of the Algarve and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C minor, op. 67.
This represents the culmination of celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Foundation that began on 23 June with the Summer Garden program featuring: new exhibitions, concerts, cinema and workshops held in the Gulbenkian gardens, among other events.
The Summer Garden comes to a close in the open air Amphitheatre on 3 July, with the concert by Anoushka Shankar, a unique figure in the universe of Indian classical music and world music. On this occasion, she performs her latest album Land of Gold, inspired by images of refugees that have impacted on the contemporary media landscape. On the same day, there are the final reading sessions for children and young persons in the Garden. Meanwhile, the Multipurpose Room is given over to Protest Songs, with Mariana Abrunheiro (voice) and Ruben Alves (piano) and including works by José Afonso, Carlos Paredes, José Mário Branco, Sérgio Godinho and Fausto, among others.
Launched in 2012 to distinguish persons or institutions, national or international, that have stood out in defence of the values essential to humanity, the Calouste Gulbenkian Award, with the value of €250,000, replaced the five Gulbenkian awards attributed between 2007 and 2011 for the fields of Human Rights, the Environment, Art, Science, and Charity and Education. For this year’s Calouste Gulbenkian Award, 85 nominations were received from a variety of different countries.
Last year, the Award distinguished the exemplary work of Denis Mukwege, the Congolese doctor who has dedicated his life to operating and rebuilding women and child victims of rape and mutilation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a horrific practice unfortunately common to many conflict zones and especially afflicting this country.
In late June, the artistic collective Les Amazones d’Afrique, composed of various singers and musicians from Mali, launched a fund raising campaign to back the work done by the Panzi Hospital and Foundation, run by Denis Mukwege in Bukavu. Les Amazones d’Afrique perform at the Gulbenkian Foundation on 23 June within the scope of the Summer Garden and their European tour, beginning in Lisbon, is dedicated to promoting the rights of women.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the project founded by Denis Mukwege has already provided medical assistance to over 40,000 women and girls with around half having been the victims of sexual violence. In addition to the Calouste Gulbenkian 2015 Award, Denis Mukwege was distinguished by the United Nations Human Rights Prize in 2008 and the Sakharov Award in 2014 and has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The crowdfunding campaign launched by Les Amazones de d’Afrique and the profits returned by their EP I Play the Kora go towards financing reconstructive gynaecological surgery and facilitating the social reintegration of victims.Campanha crowdfunding – Generosity.com