Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

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The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) is an American orchestra based in San Francisco. PBO is dedicated to historically informed performance of Baroque, Classical and Romantic music on original instruments. The orchestra performs its subscription series in the following cities and venues:


Laurette Goldberg, a harpsichordist, teacher, and pupil of Gustav Leonhardt,[1] founded the PBO in 1981. She stood down as the ensemble's music director in 1985 and chose Nicholas McGegan as her successor.[2] McGegan served as PBO music director from 1985 through 2020. During McGegan's tenure, the Philharmonia Chorale was established in 1995 as the affiliated chorus with the PBO, under the direction of John Butt; Butt was succeeded by Bruce Lamott the following season. McGegan now has the title of music director laureate with the PBO.

In 2012, Richard Egarr first guest-conducted the PBO. Following two additional guest appearances, in January 2019, the PBO announced the appointment of Egarr as its next Music Director, with an initial contract of 5 years. The original intention was for Egarr to serve as music director designate for the 2020-2021 season, and then to take the title of music director with the 2021-2022 season.[3] In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the PBO reconfigured its 2020-2021 season into a virtual season, and announced the advent of Egarr as its music director effective 1 July 2020, one season earlier than originally planned.[4] In June 2023, the PBO announced that Egarr is to conclude his tenure as its music director at the close of the 2023-2024 season.[5]


The PBO has collaborated with such arts organisations as Cal Performances, the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, and the New York Baroque Dance Company in the fully staged, modern-day premiere of Rameau's Le Temple de la Gloire in April 2017.[6] PBO regularly partners with the Mark Morris Dance Group.[1]

Recordings and Media[edit]

The PBO has commercially recorded for such labels as Harmonia Mundi, Reference Recordings and BMG and Avie. The ensemble initiated its own label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions, in 2011.[7] On radio, the PBO has been regularly featured on KDFC-FM.

Honors and awards[edit]

Music directors[edit]


  1. ^ a b Michael Cooper (2018-10-02). "Maestro of the Influential Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra to Step Down". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  2. ^ Ben Mattison (2005-04-05). "Laurette Goldberg, Harpsichordist and Baroque Authority, Dies at 75". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  3. ^ Michael Cooper (2019-01-17). "Passing the Baton (and Harpsichord) at Philharmonia Baroque". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  4. ^ "2020/VIRTUAL series led by Music Director Richard Egarr, scholars, guest artists" (Press release). Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  5. ^ Janos Gereben (2023-06-05). "There'll Be Some Changes at Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra". San Francisco Classical Review. Retrieved 2023-06-08.
  6. ^ Steven Winn (2017-05-02). "The Spectacle of Temple de la Gloire Rises in Berkeley". San Francisco Classical Voice. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  7. ^ James R. Oestreich (2011-06-24). "New Haydn Recordings by Philharmonia Baroque". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-11-23.

External links[edit]