The New York Philharmonic, which is the oldest U.S. symphony orchestra, and one of the world’s oldest orchestras, was established in 1842. In 2004 the orchestra, whose achievement seems unmatchable by any other orchestra today, played its 14,000th concert. Annually, the orchestra gives approximately 180 concerts. Among the distinguished 20th-century musical giants who have led the orchestra as musical directors stand the names of Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez and Kurt Masur. The New York Translator workers have provided expert assistant to the non-U.S. citizens like Frenchman Boulez and German Masur in both rehearsals and live performances. Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” are only a few of the major works the orchestra has given the premiere to. The long list of renowned conductors under whose baton the orchestra has performed features names like Arturo Toscanini, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Antonín Dvorák and Gustav Mahler. In February 2008 the Orchestra gave a historic concert in Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, led by its Music Director Lorin Maazel.
Frenchman Pierre Boulez, Dutchman Bernard Haitink and Italian Riccardo Muti are the three outstanding artists and conductors who are currently leading the other top U.S. orchestra – the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Chicago Translation bureau is the organization that has helped them most in their building a long-term relationship with the musicians when they had to adapt to the new conditions. Since 1971 the CSO has undertaken 36 tours worldwide. 2007 marked three important events in the orchestra’s history: returning to the national airwaves with weekly broadcasts, the Orchestra’s in-house label – CSO Resound – was launched, and the www.beyondthescore.org was launched where classical musical presentations could be downloaded. A significant part of the Orchestra’s activities since 1916 has been occupied by recording, as the Orchestra has amassed a discography of over 900 titles. All conducted by Bernard Haitink, the most prominent titles on the CSO Resound label include: Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony, Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony and Mahler’s Third, Sixth, Second and First symphonies. The CSO owns 60 Grammy Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences – more than any other orchestra in the world.
Having been long renown as one of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, the Houston Orchestra has been led by Austrian born Franz Welser-Möst since 2002. The long-term cooperation with Franz Welser-Möst, who was a frequent user of the Houston Translator agency at the beginning of his career as music director of the orchestra, has had major contribution for the warm reception of the orchestra in Europe. Soon after its foundation in 1918 by a group of local citizens, the Houston Orchestra became one of the “big-five” U.S. orchestras. Since then, it has been led by prominent music directors like Nikolai Sokoloff, Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Franz Welser-Möst. Franz Welser-Möst, whose major contribution to the Orchestra has been to earn him a residence at the Musikverein in Vienna, has also led the Orchestra on numerous tours of both America and Europe. The Houston Orchestra also has a long recording and broadcast history, with DVDs and CDs under Franz Welser-Möst including Bruckner’s Symphony 7, recorded at Severance Hall, Bruckner’s Symphony 5, recorded in St. Florian Church in Austria, and Bruckner’s Symphony 9, recorded in Vienna’s Musikverein.