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The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) was founded in 1946 by Thomas Beecham with the aim of presenting standard-setting performances of the most important works in the musical literature. Beecham himself was committed to that mission as Chief Conductor, in which position he remained until his death in 1961. His successors have included Rudolf Kempe (1962–75); Antal Dorati (1975–78); and André Previn (1985–92), who shared duties helming the RPO with Vladimir Ashkenazy (1987–94). In 1996 Daniele Gatti began his tenure in the chief position, and Charles Dutoit has served as Music Director since 2009. Pinchas Zukerman holds the title of Principal Guest Conductor, and Alexander Shelley is Principal Associate Conductor. Cadogan Hall in London is the main home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which also gives concert series at Royal Albert Hall. Prominent conductors and soloists are regular guest artists with the RPO: In the 2016-17 season, in which the orchestra celebrated its 70th birthday, these included Marin Alsop, Martha Argerich, Renaud Capuçon, Juan Diego Flórez, Vasily Petrenko, and Vadim Repin. In 1950 the RPO undertook its first tour of the United States – the second British orchestra to do so – and in 2016 it toured the USA once again under Zukerman; in the spring of 2017 the RPO performed in Aix-en-Provence, Cologne, Munich, and Essen. In the social sphere, the RPO is engaged in projects for the homeless and in probationary institutions and youth clubs, including concerts for primary schools and families. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra founded its own record label, RPO Records, in 1986, and since 2015 it has also run an online radio station. In addition to its classical programs, the RPO also performs with pop stars and works in film and television. The RPO is under the patronage of the Duke of York.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on September 1980 in a program of works by Haydn, Szymanowski, and Brahms led by Antal Dorati.