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Under the musical direction of Nicholas McGegan for 34 years, PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA & Chorale (PBO) is recognized as America’s leading historically-informed ensemble. Using authentic instruments and stylistic conventions of the Baroque to early Romantic periods, the Orchestra engages audiences through performance, tours, recordings, commissions, and education of the highest standard. Founded in the Bay Area in 1981, the ensemble is the largest of its kind in the United States. 

PBO’s musicians are among the best in the country and serve on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Harvard, and Stanford, among others. The Orchestra performs an annual subscription season in four venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area as well as its alternative concert series, PBO Sessions. In April 2017, PBO performed the modern-day premiere of Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire. The fully-staged opera included an international cast of singers and dancers and celebrated sold-out audiences and critical acclaim from around the world. 

Each season welcomes eminent guest artists such as mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, violoncellist Steven Isserlis, and maestro Richard Egarr. The Orchestra enjoys numerous collaborations, including a regular partnership with the Mark Morris Dance Group and tours regularly to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Tanglewood. 

Among the most recorded orchestras in the world, PBO boasts a discography of over 40 recordings and launched its own label on which it has released ten recordings, including a coveted archival performance of mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été, and received a Grammy® nomination for a recording of Haydn symphonies. The Orchestra recently released the world-premiere recording of Rameau’s original 1745 version of Le Temple de la Gloire

In 2015, Philharmonia launched its Jews & Music Initiative – a permanent effort to explore and understand the relationship between Jews and music from the 17th to the 21st centuries. And in 2016, PBO launched its New Music for Old Instruments Initiative as an effort to commission and perform new works written expressly for period instruments. Recent commissions include a song-cycle by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw. 

To nurture the next generation of historically-informed performance, Philharmonia established a permanent partnership with the Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program to train the next generation of period instrumentalists and vocalists.