Founded in 1918, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra this year celebrates its 100th anniversary. The orchestra distinguishes itself with its intense energy during performances, its acclaimed recordings and its innovative audience approach, with which it has claimed its own position among Europe’s most foremost orchestras.
From 1930, under principal conductor Eduard Flipse, it developed into one of the foremost orchestras of the Netherlands. In the 1970s, with Jean Fournet and Edo de Waart, the orchestra gained international recognition. Valery Gergiev’s appointment heralded a new period of bloom, which continued from 2008 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin; principal conductor until the 2017–2018 season, after which he remains with the orchestra as honorary conductor. Lahav Shani starts his first season as principal conductor in 2018–2019.
Home of the Rotterdam Philharmonic is De Doelen Concert Hall, but the orchestra can frequently be heard in other locations – from the local venues to the most prestigious halls at home and abroad. Since 2010, the Rotterdam Philharmonic has been a resident orchestra of the Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. With performances from the local venues to concert halls worldwide, educational performances and community projects, the orchestra reaches an annual audience of 150,000 to 200,000, among which a considerable amount of young people.
Since the groundbreaking Mahler recordings with Eduard Flipse in the 1950s, the Rotterdam Philharmonic has made a large number of critically lauded recordings. At present the orchestra has contracts with Deutsche Grammophon and BIS Records; in recent years it also recorded for EMI and Virgin Classics. For the rereleasing of historical recordings the orchestra formed its own label Rotterdam Philharmonic Vintage Recordings.