The Philadelphia Orchestra, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is one of the United States’ major orchestras and one of the finest in the world. Since 2001, it has been based in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, having been based in the Philadelphia Academy of Music since it was founded.
It was founded in 1900 by Fritz Scheel, who also acted as its first conductor. In 1907, Karl Pohlig took over the post, but it was Leopold Stokowski, who became principal conductor in 1912, who made it famous. Under him, the orchestra gained a reputation for great virtuosity.
In 1936, Eugene Ormandy joined the organisation, and jointly held the post of Principal Conductor with Stokowski until 1938, when he took over the role full time. He remained with the orchestra for forty years, and many of the orchestra’s best known recordings were made under his baton.
Ormandy was succeeded by Riccardo Muti (principal conductor 1981-92) and Wolfgang Sawallisch (1993-2002). Orchestra’s current music director is Christoph Eschenbach.