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Philharmonia Orchestra


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The Philharmonia is an orchestra based in London. Since 1995 it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall. In Britain it is also the Resident Orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester and the Bedford Corn Exchange.

The orchestra was founded in 1945 by Walter Legge, and although it did give the occasional live concert, it was mainly intended to be a recording orchestra for EMI, where Legge was an executive. Thomas Beecham led its debut concert in 1946, but he was ruled out as a long-term conductor of the group when he tried to take control of the orchestra and change its name (Beecham instead went on to found his own Royal Philharmonic Orchestra).

In its early years, many prominent conductors made recordings with the ensemble, including Arturo Toscanini and Wilhelm Furtwängler. However it was Herbert von Karajan (who was not allowed to work in Germany or Austria at the time because of his Nazi record) who was most associated with the Philharmonia in its early years. Karajan built the orchestra into one of the finest ensembles in the world, and made numerous recordings, including all the Beethoven symphonies.

The Philharmonia is the most recorded orchestra in the world, with over one thousand recordings. It has also been heard on the soundtracks of many films, performing the musical scores of such classics as Laurence Olivier’s 1944 film version of Shakespeare’s Henry V, and David Lean’s film version of Oliver Twist (1948).


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  • Slim_rafa


    12 Mar 2014 Reply
  • darkjavier

    Named as if there were only an orchestra in the wold... ¬¬

    21 Jan 2014 Reply
  • hjbardenhagen

    @happy2befree: That's another orchestra, see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

    20 Mar 2013 Reply
  • gottalovett07

    Saw them perform Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique in Berkeley, CA over the weekend. Stunningly beautiful and intensely emotional performance. One of the best symphonies I've ever heard.

    13 Nov 2012 Reply
  • happy2befree

    isnt it Royal?:-)

    22 Jan 2012 Reply
  • aristamair

    How incredible it would be to see them perform! ♫

    20 May 2011 Reply
  • Tzimoun

    I went to see them perform the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey tonight at Royal Festival Hall, London... They were amazing, also the movie... Magical

    26 Jun 2010 Reply
  • hjbardenhagen

    Happy New Year everyone, there's a new Conductors group on! ZZee ya, Hans-Jürgen

    6 Jan 2010 Reply
  • ncage187

    yeah that was a pretty okay class

    1 Jul 2007 Reply
  • FashionTips

    I take you have that music: an apprecation book and cd.

    8 Feb 2007 Reply
  • ohmygoodness

    I have to listen to this for my music history class and it isn't bad. Judging from this list people have the same music book & cd. haha.

    19 Sep 2006 Reply

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