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The Philharmonia is an orchestra based in London. Since 1995 it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall[?].

The orchestra was founded in 1945 by Walter Legge[?], and although it did give the occasional live concert, it was mainly intended to be a recording orchestra for EMI, where Legge was an executive. In 1964 it was superseded by the New Philharmonia which was self-managed, and played in concerts far more often. The New Philharmonia in turn dropped the "New" in 1977, to return to its original name, and it is under this name that the orchestra performs today.

In its early years, many prominent conductors made recordings with the ensemble, including Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan, who recorded all the Beethoven symphonies with it. These early recordings have helped the orchestra to its title of most recorded orchestra. It has made over a thousand records in total. It was Otto Klemperer, however, who became most closely associated with the group, and in 1959 he became its first principal conductor.

Klemperer's close work with the orchestra was acknowledged when he was given the title of Life Conductor. He retired from conducting in 1971, but was officially still its principal conductor until his death in 1973. For those two intervening years, Lorin Maazel[?] held the post of Associate Principal Conductor (1971-73), and was effectively the principal conductor. Riccardo Muti was principal conductor from 1973 to 1982; he was followed by Giuseppe Sinopoli[?] (1984-94). In 1997, Christoph von Dohnányi[?] took up the post.

Other London-based orchestras include the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

External link

  • Home page (http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/index.php)

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