The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra was founded in 1900. Through innovative programming, robust educational initiatives, and commitment to the community, the ensemble is on a path to create an expansive future for classical music. Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been serving as the eighth music director of the Orchestra since 2012. He joins a remarkable list of music directors including Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, and Christoph Eschenbach. The Orchestra has done world or American premieres of such important works as Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”), Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances.
The Kimmel Center has been the ensemble’s home since 2001. The Orchestra performed for 101 seasons at the Academy of Music before moving to the Kimmel Center. The Orchestra also performs at community centers, classrooms to hospitals, and over the airwaves and online. The Orchestra continues the tradition of educational and community engagement for listeners of all ages—a tradition dating back to 1921 when we initiated concerts exclusively for children.
These recent initiatives carry on a legacy that boasts an extraordinary record of media firsts, including being the first symphonic orchestra to make electrical recordings (in 1925), the first to perform its own commercially sponsored radio broadcast (in 1929, on NBC), the first to perform on the soundtrack of a feature film (Paramount’s The Big Broadcast of 1937), the first to appear on a national television broadcast (in 1948, on CBS), the first major orchestra to give a live cybercast of a concert on the internet (in 1997) and the first foreign orchestra to perform in the People's Republic of China.