Not many amusement parks - in fact none except for Tivoli - can boast a symphony orchestra and concert hall of international standing. Music has nonetheless been part and parcel of the Tivoli experience ever since the founding of the gardens in 1843.
When Tivoli was first established, the music director of the then 18-piece orchestra was Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-1874), often dubbed the 'Strauss of the North'. As a composer he wrote more than 800 works, and his renowned Champagne Galop was commissioned for Tivoli's second anniversary in 1845. The first few bars of the work are represented on the railing of the exterior balcony that faces the garden fountains.
The Tivoli Symphony Orchestra (Tivolis Symfoniorkester) , which today has 80 members, performs at the Tivoli Concert Hall during the summer season under the leadership of internationally acclaimed conductors and accompanied by some of the world's leading musicians and performers. During the winter months the orchestra changes its name to the Copenhagen Philharmonic and tours extensively both at home and abroad. The orchestra performs more than 100 concerts, ballets and operas annually.
The Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra (= CPO) is probably the most versatile Danish orchestra with more than one hundred concerts, ballet- and opera performances each season.
The Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra has a history going back to 1843, when the Tivoli Garden opened in Copenhagen. The main attraction in the garden was the 11 man strong orchestra lead by Hans Christian Lumbye, later to be known as the Strauss of the North. Ever since, the orchestra has played in Tivoli every summer as the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra. Today Tivoli runs a world class music festival with the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra as the back bone.
In 1965 the orchestra became a full-time orchestra and since then the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra has presented a long list of outstanding conductors and soloists to the Copenhagen audience including Arvid and Mariss Jansons, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Charles Mackerras, Philippe Entremont, Paavo Berglund, Charles Dutoit, Sir Neville Marriner, Sixten Ehrling, Myung-Whun Chung, Yurij Temirkanov, Sir Simon Rattle, Leif Segerstam, Okko Kamu o.a.
CPO has since 2007 worked closely with two world known conductors: Chief Conductor Lan Sui and Principal Guest Conductor Cristian Mandeal.
Until 2009, the Orchestra was based in the Tivoli Concert Hall. Since then the Copenhagen Philharmonic has been based at the former Danmarks Radio concert hall which is now the concert hall of the Royal Danish Academy of Music. But during the summer season, while the Tivoli Gardens are open, it continues to perform in the Tivoli Concert Hall under the name the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra.