George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra
- Alice Tacu
Romanian orchestra founded in 1868 in Bucharest. Previously known as the Romanian Philharmonic Society Orchestra, since 1955 it has borne the name of Romania’s most prominent composer, George Enescu. It is the oldest orchestra in Eastern Europe and its headquarters is the Palace of the Romanian Athenaeum, a concert hall with a capacity of 800, and a symbol of Bucharest’s cultural richness.
The Romanian Philharmonic Society was founded on 7 May 1868, under the leadership of Eduard Wachmann, who conducted the first concert of the orchestra, on 15 December of the same year. The role of the orchestra was to educate the taste of the increasingly growing Bucharest audience for classical music; this is why Wachmann wanted to form a stable orchestra. On 5 March 1889, the orchestra gave the first concert in the freshly-built Atheneum (1888), which became the new home of the institution. Constructing such a concert hall for the Philharmonic Society was only possible with the support of cultural figures of the time, who understood the necessity of an adequate headquarters for an institution that promotes art, culture, and science. A public subscription was organized and together with other donations, sufficient funds were raised to build the Atheneum quite quickly, in two years....