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New York Philharmonic
Founded in 1842 by a group of local musicians led by American-born Ureli Corelli Hill, the New York Philharmonic is by far the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. It currently plays some 180 concerts a year, and on May 5, 2010, gave its 15,000th concert — a milestone unmatched by any other symphony orchestra.
Long a leader in American musical life, the Philharmonic has become renowned around the globe, having appeared in 430 cities in 63 countries on five continents.
The New York Philharmonic, a longtime media pioneer, began radio broadcasts in 1922, and is currently represented by The New York Philharmonic This Week — syndicated nationally 52 weeks per year, and available on nyphil.org. On television, in the 1950s and '60s, the Orchestra inspired a generation through Bernstein's Young People's Concerts on CBS. Its television presence has continued with annual appearances on Live From Lincoln Center on PBS, and in 2003 it made history as the first orchestra ever to perform live on the Grammy awards, one of the most-watched television events worldwide.
In 2004 the New York Philharmonic was the first major American orchestra to offer downloadable concerts, recorded live. Following on this innovation, in 2009 the Orchestra announced the first-ever subscription download series: Alan Gilbert: The Inaugural Season, available exclusively on iTunes, produced and distributed by the New York Philharmonic, and comprising more than 50 works performed during the 2009–10 season.
Since 1917 the Philharmonic has made nearly 2,000 recordings, with more than 500 currently available.