Founded in 1893, the Munich Philharmonic made music history already within its earliest years when Gustav Mahler led the orchestra in the premieres of his Fourth and Eighth Symphonies and Bruno Walter, shortly after Mahler’s death, first performed Das Lied von der Erde with these musicians. Bruckner’s student Ferdinand Löwe established the Philharmonic’s great Bruckner tradition; Eugen Jochum, Hans Rosbaud, Fritz Rieger, and Rudolf Kempe shaped the ensemble’s profile in the decades that followed. In 1979, Sergiu Celibidache took over as General Music Director for 17 years and strengthened the international reputation of the Munich Philharmonic through numerous tours abroad. Following Celibidache’s death, James Levine (1999-2004), Christian Thielemann (2004-11), Lorin Maazel (2012-14), and Valery Gergiev (2015-22) helmed the orchestra. In January 2023, Lahav Shani was named the new Principal Conductor. He will begin his tenure with the 2026-27 season. Zubin Mehta has served as Honorary Conductor since 2004. The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra releases recordings on its own label, “MPHIL.” “Spielfeld Klassik” is an extensive educational program for all generations developed by the orchestra. It offers more than 150 events that are attended by 35,000 people each year. “MPhil on Site” is the motto for concerts that are also held at such unusual venues as the Munich Hofbräuhaus tavern and in clubs and industrial halls. In 2021, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra opened Isar Philharmonic Hall, which is its new home while the Gasteig is being renovated.

Lucerne Festival debut on 23 March 2002, with Christian Thielemann conducting works by Debussy, Chausson, and Ravel.

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July 2023