America's oldest sym. orch., founded 1842 as Phil. Soc. of NY. Up to 1892 the conds. incl. Leopold Damrosch and Theodore Thomas. Since then the usual rule has been for there to be a ‘permanent’ or prin. cond. with some guest conds., the post being one of the most highly prized in the mus. world: Anton Seidl (1891–8); Emil Paur (1898–1902); Walter Damrosch (1902–3); guest cond. (1903–6) incl. Wood, Weingartner, R. Strauss, and F. Steinbach; Vasily Safonov (1906–9); Gustav Mahler (1909–11); Josef Stransky (1911–21); Willem Mengelberg (1921–9); Arturo Toscanini (1928–36) (jointly with Mengelberg 1928–9); John Barbirolli (1936–42); Artur Rodzinski (1943–7); Bruno Walter (1947–9); Leopold Stokowski and Dimitri Mitropoulos (1949–50); Dimitri Mitropoulos (1950–8); Leonard Bernstein (1958–69, with whom the orch. made its Salzburg Fest. début 1959); Pierre Boulez (1971–7); Zubin Mehta (1978–91): Kurt Masur (1991–2002); Lorin Maazel (2002–2009); Alan Gilbert from 2009. Bernstein in 1969 became cond. laureate for life. The orch. merged in 1928 with the New York Symphony Orchestra, becoming the Philharmonic‐Symphony Orchestra of New York, but is now simply the NYPO.