The New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the US and one of the oldest in the world. Lorin Maazel became Music Director in 2002, succeeding Kurt Masur in a distinguished line of 20th-century musical giants that has included Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, and Pierre Boulez; Mahler, Walter, and Toscanini. Since the Orchestra was founded in 1842 it has championed the new music of its time, commissioning or premiering many important works, from Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” (1893), and Gershwin’s An American in Paris (1928) to John Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning On the Transmigration of Souls (2002, the CD of which received three Grammy Awards) and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto (2007).
The Philharmonic has long played a leading role in American musical life and over the last century has become renowned around the globe, having appeared in 422 cities in 59 countries on five continents, including, most recently, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing on the Asia 2008 tour; and in Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as the first American orchestra to perform there. Long a media pioneer, the Philharmonic began radio broadcasts in 1922 and is currently represented by The New York Philharmonic This Week; the program is syndicated nationally 52 weeks per year, streamed on the Orchestra’s website, nyphil.org, and carried on XM Satellite Radio. In addition, the Orchestra’s concerts are now broadcast throughout Europe on BBC Radio 3. On television, in the 1950s and ’60s, the Philharmonic inspired a generation of music lovers through Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts, telecast on CBS; its presence on television has continued with annual appearances on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, which began with that series’s inaugural episode in 1976. In 2003 it made television history as the first orchestra ever to perform live on the Grammy Awards telecast, one of the most-watched television events worldwide.
The New York Philharmonic may be the most recorded orchestra in history, with more than 1,500 authorized releases to its credit, starting with its first pressing in 1917. The internet has expanded the Orchestra’s reach, and in 2006 the Philharmonic became the first major American orchestra to offer downloadable concerts, recorded live, which are available on the DG Concerts label, exclusively on iTunes.
On June 4, 2007, the New York Philharmonic proudly announced a new partnership with Credit Suisse, its first-ever and exclusive Global Sponsor.
Orin O’Brien on Working with Lenny
Courtesy of the New York Philharmonic
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