OFUNAM

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OFUNAM.

The Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico's Philharmonic Orchestra, also known as OFUNAM) was founded in 1936 and is the oldest symphonic group in Mexico City. It is based at Sala Nezahuacóyotl at the University City of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, in Mexico City. It was the first orchestra in Mexico to present annual concert seasons. Also, it is already a tradition that the orchestra presents an annual program of Mexican symphonic music.

Some consider OFUNAM was created in 1929 when, soon after the obtainment of UNAM's autonomy, a group of students and professors set an orchestra at the Faculty of Music. However, it was officially founded in 1936, with the official approval granted by Lázaro Cárdenas's government. The original name was Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad (University's Symphonic University) and was conducted by José F. Vásquez and José Rocabruna. The orchestra was based at Anfiteatro Simón Bolívar.

In 1966, a new base was assigned: Auditorio Justo Sierra at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature. In 1966, the assignment of a new art director, Eduardo Mata, established the start of a new period, when UNAM's Symphonic Orchestra became UNAM's Philharmonic Orchestra (OFUNAM). During this period the orchestra’s name was changed and became Orquesta Filamonica de la UNAM. Hector Quintanar was appointed artistic director in 1975. The following year, the orchestra moved to its actual home, the Sala Nezahualcóyotl. From 1981 until 1984, the artistic responsibilities were in the hands of a tandem of associate conductors: Enrique Diemecke and Eduardo Diazmuñoz. From 1985 until 1989, it was Jorge Velzaco’s turn to be artistic director. He was followed by Jesús Medina, from 1989 unntil 1993. In 1994, Ronald Zollman became the new artistic director, a post he held during eight years, until 2002. Zuohuang Chen was the conductor from 2002 to 2006. In 2006, OFUNAM celebrated its 70th anniversary, Sala Nezahualcóyotl's 30th anniversary, as well as Mozart's 250th birth anniversary and Shostakovich's 100th birth anniversary. The Welsh Alun Francis followed Chen in 2007, assisted by the Mexican Rodrigo Macias. Presently, Jan Latham Koenig is the OFUNAM's artistic conductor.

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