|Alternative Spellings||Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, RPhO|
Edo de Waart
David Zinman - Conductor from 1979 to 1982
James Conlon - Conductor from 1983 to 1991
Valery Gergiev - Conductor from 1995 to 2008
Yannick Nézet-Séguin (Yannick Séguin) - Conductor from 2008 to 2018
Willem Feltzer - Conductor from 1918 to 1928
Alexander Schmuller - Conductor from 1928 to 1930
Eduard Flipse - Conductor from 1930 to 1962
Franz-Paul Decker - Conductor from 1962 to 1967
Jean Fournet - Conductor from 1968 to 1973
Jeffrey Tate - Conductor from 1991 to 1995
Lahav Shani - Conductor from 2018
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra is a Dutch symphony orchestra based in Rotterdam. The RPhO is considered one of the Netherlands' two principal orchestras of international standing, second to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Several musicians founded the RPhO in 1918 as a private "Society of Professional Musicians for Mutual Cultivation of the Arts". It had paying members and the aim was to make music for personal pleasure without pursuit of gain. The first musical director was Willem Feltzer, who was the manager of two Rotterdam music schools.
In May 1930, Eduard Flipse was appointed principal conductor, and held the post until 1962. Under his stewardship, the amateur ensemble evolved into a professional orchestra. He established an "Instrument Fund" to raise funds for new instruments and other necessities, and the orchestra became known for its special attention to contemporary music, featuring the work of Dutch composers such as Johan Wagenaar, Willem Pijper and Alphons Diepenbrock.
On May 7, 1940 the orchestra played a concert of Bruch and Stravinsky in a celebration of Flipse's first ten years as conductor. In June 1940 Rotterdam was planning to celebrate its six hundredth birthday and the Rotterdam Philharmonic planned a special program. However, on May 14 Nazi Germany bombed Rotterdam, thereby launching its occupation of the Netherlands. The orchestra’s venue was destroyed, as was a rehearsal facility, with most of the music library and all of the orchestra's instruments.
Despite the problems, the orchestra season finished according to plan, thanks to several other Dutch orchestras who gave concerts to raise money and helped with equipment and sheet music. During the occupation, the rules of the new Cultuurkamer, an organization meant to regulate the arts in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, were severely restrictive and discriminatory. Every musician had to become a member of the Cultuurkamer, Jewish musicians had to be fired, and music by Jewish composers was banned, as was music from countries at war with Nazi Germany.
After the war, the orchestra lacked a permanent home until a new concert hall was built in 1966. After Flipse retired as principal conductor in 1962, his successors were Franz Paul Decker and Jean Fournet. In 1973, Edo de Waart became principal conductor. Under De Waart and David Zinman, who succeeded him as principal conductor, the Rotterdam grew into an orchestra of international stature, making many recordings and successful international tours. Wikipedia