New York Philharmonic

Since its first concert in 1894 the New York Philharmonic has played a leading role in American musical life. Founded in 1842 by a group of local musicians led by American-born Ureli Corelli Hill, the Philharmonic is by far the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. It currently plays some 180 concerts a year, and on May 5, 2010, gave its 15,000th concert — a milestone unmatched by any other symphony orchestra. Long a leader in American musical life, the Philharmonic has become renowned around the globe, having appeared in 431 cities in 63 countries on 5 continents.

Alan Gilbert began his tenure as music director in September 2009, the latest in a distinguished line of musical giants. Mr. Gilbert launched what New York magazine called "a fresh future for the Philharmonic." The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of civic pride for the city and country. "The Philharmonic is once again part of any conversation about the liveliness of the arts: a goal that Mr. Gilbert announced on arrival, then wasted no time in achieving," The New York Times praised.