The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra is the musical heart of the city of Rotterdam. Soon after its foundation in 1918, the ensemble evolved into one of the leading orchestras in the Netherlands.
Between 1930 and 1962, the orchestra came into its first period of bloom under the direction of Eduard Flipse. It was Flipse who laid the foundation for the tradition of precision ensemble playing which later became the orchestra's hallmark. After the appointment in 1973 of the then still very young conductor Edo de Waart, the orchestra gained international acclaim. De Waart conducted the Rotterdam Philharmonic in many outstanding recordings and on several successful international tours. Since 1995 the celebrated Russian conductor Valery Gergiev has been the orchestra's Music Director. He initiated the Gergiev Festival Rotterdam which has grown out to be one of the orchestra's major events.
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra's repertoire not only covers all periods of music history, but music genres beyond the realm of the traditional as well. By frequently commissioning and performing premieres the orchestra keeps in touch with contemporary music. In addition, the orchestra is actively building on it's already substantial opera tradition. The annual opera productions in cooperation with the Netherlands Opera are received with unanimous praise by audiences and critics alike.
Ambition and innovation have always been an important part of the Rotterdam Philharmonic's artistic make-up. One of the orchestra's key goals is making the symphonic repertoire accessible for as many different audiences as possible. New initiatives, especially in the educational field, are continually explored. This involves that children are an ever more important and growing target group.
Each year, approximately 110,000 music lovers visit the Rotterdam Philharmonic's concerts in de Doelen, the most important centre of cultural life in Rotterdam.
Photos copyright © Marco Borggreve