Ranking alongside the CCB as one of Lisbon’s most important cultural centres, the Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian has its own orchestra, choir and ballet company. Iranian philanthropist and patron of the arts, Armenian Calouste Gulbenkian bequeathed his wealth to set up this extraordinary foundation in 1955 after finding asylum in Portugal.
rnFundacao Calouste Gulbenkian has over US $1 billion in assets, it has a bigger budget than some Portuguese government ministries. Constituting only 60 members, the Orquestra Gulbenkian sits somewhere between a chamber group and symphony orchestra. A number of international orchestras and chamber groups plays here throughout the year; festivals of contemporary music (May) and early music (October) take place along with regular concerts in the outdoor amphitheatre.