With 70 seasons under our belt, we may be one of Denver’s oldest orchestras, but we certainly don’t act our age.
Dr. Antonia Brico, the first woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1938, founded our organization in 1948 as the Denver Businessmen’s Orchestra. Antonia settled in Denver after conducting professional orchestras across Europe and the U.S. She debuted our orchestra to a packed auditorium explaining the need for a classical music venue to showcase the talents of local, classically trained musicians “with no place to play.” Twenty years later, we’d be known as the Brico Symphony, and Antonia would remain at the helm of the orchestra until her retirement in the mid-1980s.
After nearly 40 years under Antonia’s baton, the orchestra chose Russian-American conductor Julius Glaihengauz as its second music director. A graduate of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Julius led the newly renamed Centennial Philharmonic for 11 seasons.
In 1999, Professor of Music at the University of Denver Dr. Horst Buchholz, took the baton. Our most recent name change came in 2004, and we became the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra. Horst served as music director and conductor through 2009, after which he was appointed the orchestra’s first Conductor Laureate.
Adam Flatt came on board as music director in June 2010. Adam’s dynamic and inspiring leadership over the next three years continued Horst’s legacy and further increased the artistic quality of the orchestra.
We selected award-winning conductor Dr. Lawrence Golan as our conductor and music director when Adam departed in 2013. Lawrence, a professor and music director at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, continues to produce innovative and quality programming, delighting our musicians and audiences alike.
While we have a 69-year history in Denver, our mission is to continually redefine the way our community experiences and engages with classical music.