Established in 1945 by EMI executive Walter Legge primarily as a recording orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra is the world's most recorded orchestra with well over 1000 releases to its credit.
The Philharmonia Orchestra has attracted some of the 20th century's greatest conductors, including Wilhelm Furtwängler, Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Guido Cantelli and Herbert von Karajan.
Otto Klemperer was the first of many outstanding Principal Conductors of the Philharmonia Orchestra throughout its history.
Other great names include Lorin Maazel, who became Associate Principal Conductor in 1970, Riccardo Muti, appointed Principal Conductor in 1973 and Music Director in 1979; Giuseppe Sinopoli (Music Director 1983-1994), Carlo Maria Giulini, Andrew Davis, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The Orchestra approaches its 4th season with renowned German maestro Christoph von Dohnányi as Principal Conductor.
Another great German maestro Kurt Sanderling, has enjoyed a special relationship with the Orchestra since his UK debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1972 and now holds the position of Conductor Emeritus.
The Philharmonia Orchestra has been Resident Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, London since 1995.
In 2000 the Philharmonia Orchestra celebrates five years as Resident Orchestra at Bedford Corn Exchange and three years as resident Orchestra at Leicester's De Montfort Hall.
These innovative regional residencies have provided an ideal opportunity to expand a dynamic educational and community-based programme.
In 1993 the Hoffmann Committee chose to endorse the Philharmonia Orchestra as its preferred choice among London's orchestras.
Other awards include Evening Standard Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award and the Evening Outstanding Ensemble Award; and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Large Ensemble Award.
The RPS awarded the Philharmonia Orchestra and SBC's joint series, Clocks and Clouds: The music of György Ligeti, its Best Concert Series in 1997.
The Orchestra has also won unanimous critical acclaim for its innovative programming policy, at the heart of which is a commitment to performing and commissioning new music by the world's leading living composers.
Current Visiting Composer, James MacMillan, is also Artistic Director of the innovative free early evening Music of Today series.
The Philharmonia Orchestra plays a prominent role as one of the UK's most energetic musical ambassadors. It tours frequently, in addition to its prestigious residency at the Châtelet Theatre in Paris and its annual residency at The Megaron, Athens.
The Philharmonia Orchestra's unparalleled international reputation continues to attract the cream of Europe's talented young players to its ranks.
This, combined with its brilliant roster of conductors and soloists, and the unique warmth of sound and vitality it brings to a vast range of repertoire, ensure performances of outstanding calibre greeted by the highest critical praise.