New York Philharmonic

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

Alan Gilbert began his tenure as music director in September 2009, the latest conductor in a distinguished line of musical giants. 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.