The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1936 by Bronislaw Huberman and its inaugural concert, on 26 December 1936, was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. The IPO plays in subscription series, including a special annotated Youth Concert Series, special concerts, concerts as part of the "Arts for the People" project throughout Israel, and special concerts for IDF soldiers at their outposts.
The IPO annually tours the world's cultural centers and its prestigious festivals. Israel's creative artists are promoted by many IPO premieres of works by Israeli composers. The IPO also contributes to the absorption of new immigrants and includes in its ranks many new immigrant musicians. The orchestra has hosted most of the world's greatest conductors and soloists, and it also does much to develop Israeli artists and young talents from Israel and abroad.
In 1968 Maestro Zubin Mehta was appointed Music Advisor to the IPO and in 1977 he became its Music Director. Leonard Bernstein was named IPO Laureate Conductor in 1988, in 1992 Kurt Masur was appointed Honorary Guest Conductor and since the 2001-02 season Yoel Levi has been Principal Guest Conductor of the IPO.
Since the 2011-12 season, Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda has been Chief Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He is Music Director of Teatro Regio in Turin, Laureate Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Victor de Sabata Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Orquesta de Cadaqués in Spain and Artistic Director of the Stresa Festival.