About the JPO

About the JPO

Formed by a group of committed, resilient musicians, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) was established in May 2000 following the demise of the National Symphony Orchestra. The year 2010 marks the tenth year of the JPO's existence, and we can proudly look back on a decade of great achievements. 


Our persistence and commitment to consistent high standards of performance, as well as music education and development, was rewarded when the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund gave us a substantial funding boost over three years, starting in 2009.

The JPO strives to be nationally and internationally recognised as South Africa's leading philharmonic orchestra, performing music that incorporates the greatest accomplishments of classical and South African music genres.

Vision: "World-class music for a world-class city"

The JPO seeks to ensure the ongoing sustainability and growth of music traditions through nurturing accessibility to the broad community. The JPO aims to perform consistently at an international level of musical excellence.

The JPO aims to challenge the prevailing perception of classical music performances being elitist and Euro-centric, and appeal rather to a truly egalitarian local audience.


Past achievements and activities
  • During 2000, the JPO utilised its own scant financial resources to present 15 concerts that included three overseas guest conductors as well as world-renowned overseas artists.
  • Since its inception, the JPO has presented four symphony seasons every year of symphonic music, mostly with the assistance of corporate sponsorship and individual donations and ticket sales.
  • In 2004, the JPO released an internationally acclaimed, world-premiere recording of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Violin Concerto.
  • The JPO commissioned and, in March 2004, performed the world-premiere of 'A Mandela Portrait' in recognition of the 10 years of democracy in South Africa. The work was then recorded and broadcast on 1 December 2004 - World Aids Day - on SABC 2.
  • In addition to its symphony concerts, the JPO has performed:
    • 'Queen: the Concert'
    • 'The Joburg Pops'
    • 'La Traviata' and 'La Boheme' for Opera Africa
    • 'Carmina Burana' for the German Government's celebration of 10 years of democracy
    • FaurĂ©'s 'Requiem' for RAU.
  • In 2007, the JPO became a full-time orchestra with permanent musicians on yearly contracts.
  • 2009 saw the JPO perform for the Inauguration of President Zuma at the Union Buildings
  • In 2009, the JPO was awarded funding for a three-year period by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
  • In 2009 the JPO provided the recordings for the opening and closing ceremonies for the FIFA Confederations Cup
  • In 2010 the JPO was asked once again to record for the FIFA World Cup opening and Closing ceremonies
  • In 2010, the JPO celebrated its 10th birthday. Reaching this significant milestone was made possible by a small band of dedicated men and women who are passionate about seeing classical music not only survive, but thrive, in Gauteng.