“In some funny, spiritual sense, they will always be my orchestra, no matter who else’s orchestra they may be.” – Leonard Bernstein
The New York Philharmonic boasts a unique history among the world’s symphony orchestras, having been conducted by everyone from Dvořák and Mahler to Toscanini and Bernstein.
Its foundation in 1842 makes it the oldest orchestra in the United States, and among the oldest in the world. It remains a leading cultural institution today. Leonard Bernstein’s period as music director (1958–69) is considered especially historic. The current music director, Jaap van Zweden, will step down in 2024, and Gustavo Dudamel will assume the role in 2026.