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.
Principal Guest Conductor
In his third season as a chief conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Lorenzo Viotti presents five different concert programs at the Concertgebouw, featuring works by Brahms, Verdi, Ravel, Dvořák, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Sibelius, and Schönberg. The orchestra is also planning a tour to Germany and Belgium. As a chief conductor of the Dutch National Opera (DNO), Lorenzo Viotti continues his collaboration with Barrie Kosky in the 2023/2024 season with a new production of Il trittico, completing the Puccini trilogy, which was preceded by successful performances of Turandot and Tosca. He will also conduct his first Wagner opera, Lohengrin, in Amsterdam.
As a guest conductor, Lorenzo Viotti will be involved in numerous concert projects in the upcoming season. He will collaborate with the Vienna Philharmonic for a tour across Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Monte Carlo. Additionally, he will conduct the Munich Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in Japan.
At La Scala in Milan, there is a new production of Simone Boccanegra, directed by Daniele Abbado, on the schedule, and at the Zurich Opera House, Viotti will conduct the revival of his acclaimed production of Die Csárdásfürstin.
Lorenzo Viotti was born into a French-Italian musical family in Lausanne. He studied piano, singing, and percussion in Lyon and attended orchestral conducting courses with Professor Georg Mark in Vienna, where he also performed as a percussionist with various renowned orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic. He completed his conducting studies with Nicolas Pasquet at the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Weimar. Lorenzo Viotti has won several prestigious conducting competitions, including the Nestlé Young Conductors Award at the Salzburg Festival in 2015, the 11th International Conducting Competition of the Orquestra de Cadaqués, and the conducting competition of the MDR Symphony Orchestra. He was the chief conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra. In 2017, he received the “Newcomer of the Year” award at the International Opera Awards in London.
Symphony No. 7 in E minor
*Birth centenary of György Ligeti