Founded in 1918, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra developed into a
leading international orchestra under the direction of Eduard Flipse. The orchestra developed an international profile in the 1970s under Edo de Waart. The appointment of Valery Gergiev as principal conductor in 1995 ushered in a new era in the orchestra’s history. The Gergiev Festival Rotterdam, held for the first time in 1996, quickly became a fixture on the festival calendar both nationally and internationally. Since 2008, the orchestra’s principal conductor has been Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Since its inception, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra has striven to make symphonic music accessible to a wider audience. It does not restrict itself to traditional works, but seeks out a new and non-classical repertoire as well.
In 1930, the orchestra launched a series of children’s concerts, which has grown into an acclaimed educational programme.
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra’s home is de Doelen concert hall, where the orchestra draws over 100,000 visitors annually (including a significant proportion of young people).