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George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra


It was established in April 1868, bearing the name of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, managed by Eduard Wachmann, as the first permanent symphonic orchestra in Romania. Its first concert took place on December 15, in the same year.

After the Romanian Athenaeum was inaugurated, one of the most important and beautiful concert halls in Europe, on March 5, 1889, the concerts of the orchestra began to be given in this hall, as it happens to this day, the Romanian Athenaeum being also the seat of the Philharmonic.

Since 1907, the Philharmonic was managed by Dimitrie Dincu. He was followed, from 1920, by George Georgescu, famous conductor, a student of Arthur Nikisch. Thus, under his hand, the repertoire became more modern, and the Philharmonic became part of the international music circuit, by participating at its first tours abroad. The collaborations with big names of the inter-war music world remain iconic, such as: Jacques Thibaud, Pablo Casals, Igor Stravinski, Enrico Mainardi, Alfred Cortot, Maurice Ravel, Richard Strauss, Yehudi Menuhin, Herbert von Karajan. George Georgescu is also to be thanked for a series of benchmark discography recordings of the Philharmonic Orchestra, such as the complete series of Beethoven’s symphonies. After the war, the institution diversified its activity, during the terms of Constanting Silvestri and George Georgescu; the Academic choir was established, a valuable group of solo concert performers (instrumentalists and singers), various chamber ensembles (from orchestra to trio with a piano). The name of George Georgescu is also linked to the memorable concerts given by the Philharmonic Orchestra, at the first editions of the George Enescu International Festival.

As of 1955, when George Enescu left us, the orchestra bears his name as tribute, becoming the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra.

After the fall of the communist regime, the well-known Cristian Mandeal becomes the principal conductor of the George Enescu Philharmonic (his term ended in 2010). Currently, the artistic director of the Philharmonic is Nicolae Licareț. During the term of the principal conductor Cristian Mandeal (1991-2010), the Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the complete symphonic works of George Enescu and Johannes Brahms.

Today, the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra gives around 300 concerts every year, both in Romania and in Europe, Asia and the Far East. It is one of Romania’s representative music institutions.