Founded in 1923, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra is nowadays the leading orchestra in the region and a gust of fresh air on the international concert scene. According to the international media, the Belgrade Philharmonic is Serbia’s cult orchestra (The Financial Times), one of the leading European orchestras (The Independent), an orchestra for which there’s no looking back (The Washington Post), and an ensemble which shows grand dose of heritage and pride (The New York Times).
The orchestra’s distinctive image, as well as its creative and often provocative marketing, have influenced the recognition of the orchestra as an exponent of social changes. Thus, the BPO quickly attracted many classical music authorities, who supported its further development. Most notably, it has fostered a long-lasting friendship with Zubin Mehta, who regularly gives charity concerts with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.
Starting from the season 2017/18, Chief Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra is Gabriel Feltz, while the Principal Guest Conductor is Daniel Raiskin.
In previous seasons, the orchestra has cooperated with leading international conductors and soloists, including Zubin Mehta, Mikhail Jurowski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Neville Mariner, Boris Berezovsky, Gerhard Oppitz, Vadim Gluzman, Nelson Freire, Fazil Say, Julian Rachlin, Sarah Chang, Isabelle Faust, Mischa Maisky, David Geringas, Sol Gabetta, Igudesman & Joo Duo, Vadim Repin, Nikolai Lugansky, Steven Isserlis, Xavier de Maistre, Alice Sara Ott, Andrei Korobeinikov, Kian Soltani, Nemanja Radulović and many others.
In the last few years, the orchestra has had successful international tours and guest performances in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Oman, etc. The most significant international engagement in the orchestra’s recent history was the first ever U.S. tour, which included concerts in Chicago Symphony Hall, Cleveland Severance Hall, Washington D.C. Strathmore Music Center and New York Carnegie Hall in October 2014. Recent successes of the orchestra include the spectacular concert at the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow in September 2016, under the baton of Daniel Raiskin, which opened the concert season of the Moscow State Philharmonic Society, a concert at the Palace of Arts (MUPA) in Budapest, both in 2016, and two very successful performances in Musikverein Graz with Gabriel Feltz in 2018.
One of the most recent achievements of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra is also the greatest ever open-air classical music concert in the Balkans, held on 25 June 2017 in Belgrade, which was attended by more than 30,000 people. The concert was led by Chief Conductor Gabriel Feltz, while the renowned Maestro Zubin Mehta featured as the special guest. Creative and innovative program concepts form a unique balance of elements of the traditional and contemporary repertoires. This is also one of the main characteristics of the artistic approach and the relation between the Belgrade Philharmonic and its audience. As a result of these efforts, the Belgrade Philharmonic is the leading orchestra in the region and beyond, whose concerts are sold out several months before the start of the season.
The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra initiates, realizes and supports actions contributing to social progress, promotion of tolerance, regional and international cooperation. The original and unique concept of the New Year’s concert series, promoting ethnic and religious diversity through music, has raised significant attention of the domestic and international public, and it was also acknowledged and supported by the European Union. The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra initiated regional cooperation of the three national philharmonic orchestras from Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, under the Pika-točka-tačka (Dot-Dot-Dot) project.