The history of the orchestra began when the violinist A.P. Howell founded the First Calgary Symphony in 1910. Later, in 1947, Clayton Hare joined the orchestra with members of the Mount Royal Orchestra and they became the New Calgary Symphony. After the Alberta Philharmonic was founded in 1955, it merged with the Calgary Symphony that same year and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra was born.
They are based in the Jack Singer Concert Hall and are also the orchestra for the Calgary Opera and Alberta Ballet Company.
Hans Graf was the Music Director and Principal Conductor from 1995 to 2003, and since then their conductors include the Resident Conductor Pierre Simard, Chorus Master Rosemary Thomson, Principal Baroque Conductor Ivars Taurin, Concertmaster Cenek Vrba and the Conductor Laureate Mario Bernardi.
Their concerts are attended by around 90,000 people per year and they have made around a dozen recordings for CBC Records including works by the Mozart, Schumann and Mahler. Their performances include special yearly concerts such as “Mozart on the Mountain”, “Pops in the Parks” and “Beethoven in the Badlands” and national tours.
Education and bringing music to children and adults alike is important to them and the orchestra is involved in many community outreach activities.
Isaac Albeniz recordings
CBC 5195 (CD: Nights in the Garden of Spain)
Conductor -Hans Graf
Piano – Angela Cheng