Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. Since its inception, it has played a leading role in American musical life, championing and commissioning the music of its time. The Orchestra is also renowned around the globe, having appeared in 428 cities in 61 countries on five continents, including the February 2008 historic visit to Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The Philharmonic’s concerts are broadcast on the weekly syndicated radio program, The New York Philharmonic This Week, streamed on the Orchestra’s Website, nyphil.org, and carried on Sirius XM Radio; the concerts are also telecast annually on Live From Lincoln Center on public television in the U.S. The Philharmonic has made nearly 2,000 recordings since 1917 — with more than 500 currently available — and in 2006 became the first major American orchestra to offer downloadable concerts, recorded live. The Orchestra has built on the long-running Young People’s Concerts to develop a wide range of programs, including the School Partnership Program, which enriches music education in New York City, and Learning Overtures, which fosters international exchange through classroom demonstrations and symposia. Alan Gilbert became Music Director in 2009, succeeding Lorin Maazel in a distinguished line of 20th-century musical giants.