Founded in October 1997, as the Gyeonggi-do Orchestra, the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra made its clear mission and vision with the goal of sharing and broadening cultural and artistic values in order to enhance the quality of life for the 13 million residents of Gyeonggi-do.
The Gyeonggi Philharmonic began to perform overseas in 2008, debuting in China and the USA; in 2009, other invitations were followed like festivals in Valencia and Toledo and, in 2010, in China and Italy. In 2014, the Gyeonggi Philharmonic was invited to represent Korea at “Asia Orchestra Week” in Japan and, in the following year, the Orchestra performed at the Berlin Philharmonie –the first Korean orchestra ever –receiving positive reviews from the local press. The GPhil was also invited to the Musikfestspiele Saar.
In 2016, world-renowned Maestro Riccardo Muti, who is famous for being meticulous and careful in his orchestra choice, has honored the Gyeonggi Philharmonic with his presence as a guest conductor in a memorable concert and gave a glowing review of the orchestra as one that “responds nimbly to the conductor’s demands”. Maestro Muti also led the orchestra in the opening of Asia’s first “Muti Opera Academy” and continued his cooperation in 2017 as well.
Pinchas Zukerman, who first performed with the orchestra as a soloist and a conductor in 2016, joined the Gyeonggi Philharmonic for the second time in 2018.
Gyeonggi Philharmonic made another remarkable moment with the invitation at the Musikfest Berlin as the first Asian orchestra. After having performed in Katowice, following invitation of Polish Radio Katowice, the Gyeonggi Philharmonic is rapidly emerging as a widely recognized Asian orchestra. In 2018, the orchestra has cooperated with renowned conductors like Jaap Van Zweden, Nikolaj Znaider, etc. as well as with top soloists such as Schlomo Mintz, Vilde Frang, and Kate Royal.
In March 2018, the internationally well-known Italian conductor Massimo Zanetti has been appointed as a new Music Director of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic and started his cooperation in September 2018, with concerts highly acclaimed by critics and public.
In 2015, the Gyeonggi Philharmonic once again made history by becoming the first Korean orchestra to ever sign a contract with the world-class record label Decca Records. It is under this contract that the orchestra recorded Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler.
Each year, the Gyeonggi Philharmonic holds over 70 performances, including: the “Master Series,” which allows listeners to enjoy the orchestra’s musical expertise and make their own music; the “Inter-generational Connect Series,” which aims to connect audiences more intimately with classical music; and the “Ensemble Chamber Music Series,” which is comprised of elegant performances showcasing different orchestra members as soloists.
The Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra is also the only orchestra in Korea to offer an annual “Conductor’s Master Class” for aspiring conductors (Koreans or non-Koreans who have majored in conducting) to work with professional orchestras in Korea. The orchestra also operates an “Orchestra Music School” for children from socially-vulnerable families (children from multicultural families, children with disabilities, etc.) living in Gyeonggi-do who may have fewer opportunities to receive an education in culture and the arts. The music school offers these children a chance to learn about various musical instruments and how an orchestra functions. The Gyeonggi Philharmonic also actively shares with the community by giving concerts for various culturally-alienated groups (people in correctional facilities, people with disabilities, military units, etc.) and voluntarily sharing the talents of its members in a variety of ways.