- George Benjamin Conductor
- Bejun Mehta Countertenor
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.
Le Tombeau de Couperin
Concert for Orchestra
— Intermission 20 min —
Dream of the Song
A student of Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire, George Benjamin soon began to fulfil his ambition of an auspicious future as a composer. At the age of 20 he was already part of the programme of the exclusive and prestigious BBC Proms, through the presentation of Ringed by the Flat Horizon; shortly after, First Light would be conducted by Simon Rattle, at the head of the London Sinfonietta. At the same time, Benjamin also established himself as a conductor, having premiered pieces by Rihm and Ligeti. At the head of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, he leads an eclectic programme that also includes important works by Ravel and Janáček.
Sponsor Gulbenkian Music
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