New York Philharmonic


America's oldest symphony orchestra - it was founded in 1842 - and certainly one of the most beloved of US music institutions, the New York Philharmonic last year gave its 15,000th concert, a figure which includes 430 cities in 63 countries on five continents. Despite a history of prestigious music directors including Boulez, Bernstein, Stokowski, Barbirolli and Toscanini, the present incumbent Alan Gilbert - who took up the post in 2009 - is actually the first native New Yorker. His parents were both musicians in the orchestra: the ensemble, its heritage, reputation and spirit is part of his very identity.