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.
Giancarlo Guerrero is a six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor and Music Director of the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero has been praised for his “charismatic conducting and attention to detail” (Seattle Times) in “viscerally powerful performances” (Boston Globe) that are “at once vigorous, passionate, and nuanced” (BachTrack).
Through commissions, recordings, and world premieres, Guerrero has championed the works of prominent American composers. He has led the Nashville Symphony in eleven world premieres and fifteen recordings of American music, including works by Michael Daugherty, Terry Riley and Jonathan Leshnoff, and most recently the GRAMMY® nominated recording of John Adams: My Father Knew Charles Ives & Harmonielehre.
As part of his commitment to fostering the work of contemporary composers, Guerrero, together with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, guided the creation of Nashville Symphony’s biannual Composer Lab & Workshop for young and emerging composers.
In the 2023-24 season, Guerrero returns to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in their joint concert with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He also returns to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Guerrero has also appeared in recent seasons with prominent North American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and those of Boston, Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montréal, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, and Houston. Internationally he has worked with the Deutches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, London Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Deutsches Radio Philharmonie and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, as well as the Sydney Symphony and Queensland Symphony in Australia. Guerrero was honored as the keynote speaker at the 2019 League of American Orchestras conference.
Guerrero recently completed a six-season tenure as Music Director of the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic. With that orchestra, Guerrero made three recordings including the Billboard chart-topping Bomsori: Violin on Stage on Deutsche Grammophon and albums of repertoire by Brahms, Poulenc and Jongen. Guerrero previously held posts as the Principal Guest Conductor of both The Cleveland Orchestra Miami Residency and the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Music Director of the Eugene Symphony, and Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Born in Nicaragua, Guerrero immigrated during his childhood to Costa Rica, where he joined the local youth symphony. He studied percussion and conducting at Baylor University in Texas and earned his master’s degree in conducting at Northwestern. Given his beginnings in civic youth orchestras, Guerrero is particularly engaged with conducting training orchestras and has worked with the Curtis School of Music, Colburn School in Los Angeles, National Youth Orchestra (NYO2) and Yale Philharmonia, as well as with the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando program, which provides an intensive music education to promising young students from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Karen Gomyo, “a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity.” (The Chicago Tribune), possesses a rare ability to captivate and connect intimately with audiences through her deeply emotional and heartfelt performances. With a flawless command of the instrument and an elegance of expression, she is one of today’s leading violinists.
Karen’s 2023/24 season engagements include her debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with John Storgårds, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig with Semyon Bychkov; and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland with Lio Kuokman. She also appears with the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg with Constantinos Carydis, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra with John Storgårds, Gulbenkian Orchestra with Giancarlo Guerrero, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao with composer/conductor Samy Moussa, and the Vancouver Symphony with Gerard Schwarz. In February 2024, Karen will return to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for the world premiere of Year 2020, a Concerto for Trumpet, Violin and Orchestra by Xi Wang, with trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth and conductor Fabio Luisi. Together with conductor Jakub Hrůša, with whom she collaborates regularly, Karen will return to Japan to perform with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
Further afield, Karen continues to be sought after in Australasia, and will be touring the region in August and September 2024, returning to the Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmanian and West Australian symphony orchestras.
Highlights of recent seasons include Karen’s subscription debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orquesta Nacional de España, the Czech Philharmonic and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Karen also returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris under Mikko Franck and the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln with Cristian Macelaru.
As a passionate chamber musician, Karen has had the pleasure of performing with artists such as Olli Mustonen, Leif Ove Andsnes, Enrico Pace, James Ehnes, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Daishin Kashimoto, Emmanuel Pahud, Julian Steckel, the late Heinrich Schiff, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, and guitarist Ismo Eskelinen with whom she has recorded the duo album Carnival on Bis Records.
She is also a champion of the Nuevo Tango music of Astor Piazzolla. She regularly collaborates with Piazzolla’s long-time pianist and tango legend, Pablo Ziegler, as well as with bandoneon players, Hector del Curto, JP Jofre, and Marcelo Nisinman. In 2021 Karen released A Piazzolla Triology (BIS Records), recorded with the Strings of Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and guitarist Stephanie Jones.
Renowned for her commitment to commissioning new repertoire, Karen has given the US premieres of Samy Moussa’s Violin Concerto ‘Adrano’ with the Pittsburgh Symphony - and Matthias Pintscher’s Concerto No. 2 ‘Mar’eh’ with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington under the baton of the composer. In May 2018, she performed the world premiere of Samuel Adams’ new Chamber Concerto with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, a work written specifically for Karen and commissioned by the CSO’s ‘Music Now’ series for their 20th anniversary.
Born in Tokyo, Karen began her musical career in Montréal and New York, She studied under the legendary pedagogue Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School before continuing her studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and New England Conservatory. Karen also participated as violinist, host, and narrator in a documentary film produced by NHK Japan about Antonio Stradivarius called The Mysteries of the Supreme Violin, which was broadcast worldwide on NHK WORLD.
Violin Concerto No. 1, in G minor, op. 26
— Intermission 20 min —
Symphony No. 1, in D major
Mahler is one of the composers Giancarlo Guerrero feels closest to, and the maestro declared in an interview his natural attraction for a work that “touches on many natural and earthly themes”, and in which he also finds much of the composer’s personal universe: “desires, dreams and even frustrations from his life that are interwoven in a special way” in the music. After all, Mahler said: “a symphony must be like the world – it must contain everything”. Added to this special relationship is the vitality and brilliance of violinist Karen Gomyo, who will play Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in the first part.
Sponsor Gulbenkian Music
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