Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world; on May 5, 2010, it performed its 15,000th concert. Music Director Alan Gilbert, The Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, began his tenure in September 2009, succeeding a distinguished line of 20th-century musical giants that goes back to Gustav Mahler and Arturo Toscanini. The Orchestra has always played a leading role in American musical life, commissioning and/or premiering works by each era’s leading composers, some of which have won the Pulitzer Prize. Renowned around the globe, the Philharmonic has appeared in 430 cities in 63 countries — including the February 2008 historic visit to Pyongyang, DPRK, for which the Philharmonic earned the 2008 Common Ground Award for Cultural Diplomacy.
The Philharmonic, which appears annually on Live From Lincoln Center on PBS, is the only American orchestra to have a 52-week-per-year nationally and internationally syndicated radio series — The New York Philharmonic This Week — which is also streamed on nyphil.org. The Orchestra has made nearly 2,000 recordings since 1917, with more than 500 currently available, and including several Grammy Award winners. Since June 2009 more than 50 concerts have been released as downloads, available at all major online music stores, and the Philharmonic’s self-produced recordings continue in the 2011–12 season. Famous for the long-running Young People’s Concerts, the Philharmonic has developed a wide range of education programs, among them the School Partnership Program that enriches music education in New York City, and Learning Overtures, which fosters international exchange among educators.
New York Philharmonic last performed for La Jolla Music Society in the Celebrity Orchestra Series on May 15, 2012.