The Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra has a long-standing history reaching 51 years. The Orchestra have the goal of conquering new audiences to reach a higher standard of performance in the two most distinctive facets of this Orchestra, namely the classical repertoire and the repertory that springs from the vernacular music of Colombia and Latin America.
The Orchestra has played the great works of world-renowned composers and is among the few orchestras in Latin America to have presented, almost in its entirety the symphonic cycles of composers such as Mahler, Bruckner, and Bartok. Among its principal conductors, the orchestra has had the likes of Jaime León, Dimitar Manolov and Francisco Rettig, as well as guest conductors of such rename as Kent Nagano, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Krzysztof Penderecki.
Since its incepion in 1967 this organization has been a part of the entourage of the Secretary of Culture, Recreation and Sports of the Mayoralty of the City of Bogota. The orchestra was invited to take part in the field masses for the tours to Bogota of Popes Paul VI in 1968 a Francis I in 2017.
The Bogota Philharmonic was confirmed as one of the foremost in the region in 2008 when it achieved a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album. The award prompted a wider international positioning of the Orchestra, further confirmed through the Orchestra’s tours of Ecuador, United States, Russia, Italy and China. In January, 2018 the orchestra received an invitation to play two concerts in Santiago de Chile with tenor Placido Domingo.
The Orchestra welcomes a wide range of audiences by adding to its repertoire a contrasting offer as when it collaborated with heavy metal band Kraken in 2006, as well as when undertaking Philharmonic Fusions like the ones with pop singer Andrés Cepeda, llanero singer Cholo Valderrama, tropical band Seresta, Afro-Colombian and Indigenous descent Singer Totó la Momposina, pop and caribbean singer Andrés Cabas, tropical band Puerto Candelaria, singer Janio Coronado, Colombian Pacific Coast Bahia Trio, singer Mónica Girlado, rappers hip-hop artists from the Pacific Coast of Colombia Chocquibtown and rockers Atercipelados all of whom were recorded for the Mestizajes CD in 2009. Yet another Philharmonic Fusion took place with pop singer Manuel Medrano in 2017 within the framework of the 480th anniversary of Bogota.
The first part of 2018 saw the launch of the CD OFB 50 años tocando para ti (OFB 50 Years Playing for You), a work that represents a sound imagery of the diversity of Colombia. This CD was made possible under the artistic direction of conductor Leonardo Marulanda, with Julio Reyes Copello as General Producer and the sound engineering of Rafa Sardina, whose work gained him the Best Engineered Album Award at the 2018 Latin Grammys.
In recent years, the Bogota Philharmonic has assumed an additional role after founding a group of new orchestras, symphony bands, youth and children’s choirs that have become an artistic reference for both choral and symphonic music in Colombia. Such programs offer an important alternative in professional music practice and contribute to a more democratic and more diverse symphonic music environmen
The Philharmonic follows in the steps of Mayor Peñalosa Development Plans, namely those known as Equality in Quality of Life and Community Building and Culture of Citizenship. To this respect the Orchestra has developed its Educational Project carried on in public schools, Local Philharmonic Centers and Healthcare Philharmonic Centers that reaches over 23.000 children and youngsters in Bogota.
This is the contributing role of the Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra towards the creation of The New Bogota®.