The New York Philharmonic plays a leading cultural role in New York City, the United States, and the world. Each season the Orchestra connects with up to 50 million music lovers through live concerts in New York and around the world, broadcasts, recordings, and education programs. Jaap van Zweden began his tenure as the 26th Music Director in the 2018–19 season. In 2019–20 he and the Philharmonic reaffirm their vital commitments to serving as New York’s orchestra and to championing new music. Maestro van Zweden conducts seven World Premieres and symphonic cornerstones and presides over Project 19, marking the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with commissions by 19 women composers; the hotspots festival, spotlighting new-music centers Berlin, Reykjavík, and New York; and Mahler’s New York, examining the composer / conductor who spent time in New York as the Philharmonic’s tenth Music Director. During the 2020 European tour, Maestro van Zweden and the Philharmonic will open the Concertgebouw’s Mahler Festival as the first American orchestra in the festival’s 100-year history.

The New York Philharmonic has commissioned and / or premiered works by leading composers from every era since its founding in 1842. Highlights include Dvořák’s New World Symphony; Gershwin’s Concerto in F; John Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning On the Transmigration of Souls, dedicated to the victims of 9/11; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto; Wynton Marsalis’s The Jungle (Symphony No. 4); and Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth. The two new-music series introduced in Jaap van Zweden’s inaugural season — Nightcap and Sound ON — will return in 2019–20.

A resource for its community and the world, the Orchestra complements annual free concerts across the city — including the Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer — with Philharmonic Free Fridays, the low-cost Phil the Hall, and education projects, including the famed Young People’s Concerts. The Orchestra has appeared in 434 cities in 63 countries, including Pyongyang, DPRK, in 2008, the first visit there by an American orchestra.

A media pioneer, the Philharmonic has made more than 2,000 recordings since 1917. In 2016 it produced its first-ever Facebook Live concert broadcast, reaching more than one million online viewers that season, and in 2018 it launched a partnership with Decca Gold, Universal Music Group’s newly established US classical music label. The Orchestra’s extensive history is available free online through the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives, which comprises approximately three million pages of documents, including every printed program since 1842 and scores and parts marked by past musicians and Music Directors such as Mahler and Bernstein.

Founded in 1842 by local musicians led by American-born Ureli Corelli Hill, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. Notable figures who have conducted the Philharmonic include Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, and Copland. Jaap van Zweden became Music Director in 2018–19, succeeding musical leaders including Alan Gilbert, Maazel, Masur, Zubin Mehta, Boulez, Bernstein, Toscanini, and Mahler.