|Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra|
|Former name||Tampere Orchestra, Tampere City Orchestra|
|Concert hall||Tampere Hall|
|Principal conductor||Santtu-Matias Rouvali|
The Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (Finnish:Tampere Filharmonia) is a Finnish orchestra based in Tampere. Founded in 1930, and maintained by the municipality of Tampere since 1947, the orchestra is currently based in the Tampere Hall. The orchestra collaborates with the Tampere Opera and Tampere Ballet and regularly participates in the Tampere Biennale music festival.
In 1929, the Tampere Music Board decided to establish a local orchestra, and entrusted the task of assembling the musicians to Elias Kiianmies, who became the orchestra's first chief conductor. The ensemble, first named the Tampereen Orkesteri (Tampere Orchestra) and consisting of 34 musicians, gave its first performance on January 6, 1930 in the Tampere Town Hall. In the spring of 1932, Eero Kosonen became chief conductor of the orchestra, and held the post for a record 37 years. In 1947, the municipality took over the orchestra, renaming it the Tampereen Kaupunginorkesteri (Tampere City Orchestra). Under the new name, the orchestra gave its first performance on January 9.
During the 1970s, the number of musicians increased to 59. In 1974, the orchestra released its first record, Kalevi Aho's Symphony No. 4. Since then, 40 recordings have been released locally and internationally, on such labels as Finlandia and Ondine. As a part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, the orchestra made its first international tour, visiting Stockholm and Norrköping in Sweden. The orchestra first toured the United States in 1987.
In 1990, the Soviet-born American Leonid Grin became the orchestra's first chief conductor from outside of Finland. The orchestra relocated to the new 1756-seat Tampere Hall. In 1998, Eri Klas became the orchestra's chief conductor, and held the post until 2006. Klas had the title of conductor laureate of the orchestra until his death in 2016.
The orchestra received its current name in 2002. The size of the orchestra continued to increase and reached 97 musicians in 2005, thus becoming the only full-scale Finnish symphony orchestra outside Helsinki. With the start of the 2013-2014 season, the orchestra's chief conductor is Santtu-Matias Rouvali, who first guest-conducted the orchestra in January 2010. He subsequently returned as a guest conductor in December 2011. In September 2012, the orchestra announced Rouvali's appointment as chief conductor, effective with the 2012-2013 season, with an initial contract of 3 years. His current contract with the orchestra is through 2019.
The orchestra has educational programmes aimed at children and youth, and is the first Finnish orchestra with a young listeners' club. Outside of classical music, the orchestra participated in the recording of the power metal album Vendetta by the Finnish band Celesty.