The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1918 and was initially made up of amateurs who performed for pleasure. But starting in 1930, when Eduard Flipse took over leadership, the orchestra professionalized and became one of the leading orchestras in the Netherlands. After Flipse’s retirement in 1962, Franz Paul Decker, Edo de Waart, David Zinman, Jeffrey Tate, and Valery Gergiev were among the chief conductors who led the orchestra to international fame. From 2008 to 2018, Yannick Nézet-Séguin was Music Director in Rotterdam; on his departure, he was appointed Honorary Conductor. Since then, the young Israeli maestro Lahav Shani has been Chief Conductor: he will perform Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony and Mahler’s Ninth Symphony in the 2024-25 season and also lead a jazz evening; the 24-year-old Finn Tarmo Peltokoski was engaged as Principal Guest Conductor in 2023. Since 1966, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has been based in the cultural center “De Doelen,” whose large hall seats 2,200 people. In addition to symphony concerts, the musicians regularly perform operas at the Dutch National Opera and are regular guests at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The orchestra reaches an audience of 150,000 to 200,000 music lovers every year through its concerts, guest performances, and education programs. A diverse catalog of recordings, ranging from documents of the founding years under Eduard Flipse to current recordings with Lahav Shani, reflects the orchestra’s artistic work.

Lucerne Festival (IMF) debut in two concerts in August 1999 conducted by Valery Gergiev.

April 2024