The Gulbenkian Orchestra was founded in 1962 by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Its current symphonic formation enables the Gulbenkian Orchestra to perform a large repertoire covering the Baroque and Classical periods, the 19th Century music and also compositions by 20th Century composers. The Gulbenkian Orchestra’s programs include compositions rarely played, or even unknown to the general public and also a great number of first performances of works by both foreign and Portuguese contemporary composers, many of which expressly commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, which therefore plays an informative and cultural role of the greatest importance to the public.
The Gulbenkian Orchestra performs numerous concerts in Lisbon, as part of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s music season, and also plays in cities throughout Portugal. During its existence the Gulbenkian Orchestra visited over 35 countries in 4 continents. The international activities of the Gulbenkian Orchestra have expanded over the years. It made with great success numerous tours in Europe, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Macao, India, Japan and Africa.