The Real Filharmonía de Galicia (= RFG; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia) began activity in 1996 at the Auditorio de Galicia (Santiago de Compostela), where they perform a regular season of concerts from October to June.
Although it offers the entire symphonic repertoire, the RFG stands out because of its interpretations of classical and early romantic musical repertoires which, due to the size of the orchestra, are very fitting. This singularity, which is increasingly becoming a feature of the Real Filharmonía, is due primarily to the work of its directors up to the present day: Helmuth Rilling, from 1996 to 2000, whose work was based on the classical Austrian and German symphonic repertoires; and Antoni Ros Marbà, who since 2000, has followed his predecessor’s interests in great depth as well as introducing a wider international repertoire, unique because it includes commissioned works by Galician composers.
In addition, other conductors regularly collaborate with the RFG. Besides the maestro Maximino Zumalave (Associate Conductor), from Santiago de Compostela, who has liased with the Real Filharmonía since its very beginning, and the British conductor Paul Daniel, who has been the Principal Guest Conductor since 2007, other conductors of the RFG include: Frans Brüggen, Juanjo Mena, and Hansjorg Schellenberger. The contributions of these conductors have ensured that the orchestra has gone from strength to strength. The most outstanding musicians have worked with the RFG, such as Frank Peter Zimmermann and Daniel Hope (violin), Natalia Gutman, Lluís Claret and Enrico Dindo (cellist), Joaquín Achúcarro, Rudolf Buchbinder and Eldar Nebolsin (piano) and singers such as Teresa Berganza, Thomas Quasthoff and Matthias Goerne, to name but a few.
In terms of performances outside the city, equal importance is given to the orchestra’s presence in Galician cities, the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, and international tours (Austria, Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and especially Portugal). Parallel to this, the RFG is very active in Santiago, having celebrated the recently opening of the chamber music season Música na Compañía, in collaboration with the University of Santiago de Compostela, and in terms of educational concerts, which have been organised by the Auditorio since 1996, giving 7,000 Galician schoolchildren the opportunity to learn about symphonic music every year.
The Escola de Altos Estudos Musicais, managed by the IGAEM, works closely with the orchestra, and was created to complement the RFG in educational terms. Forty students receive training every year, and are taught by musicians from the RFG. This allows young people to work with musicians of the highest international standards, and gives them the opportunity to complete their musical training by joining the orchestra, with planning and when they are ready to do so.
In terms of recordings, the RFG has recorded the symphonies of F. Schubert and Felix Mendelssohn, the works of J. Rodrigo. Two new recordings will be released shortly: a CD of the works of F. Mompou on the American Warner Music label; and another dedicated to M. de Falla with the Swiss record label Claves.
The RFG is managed by the Consorcio de Santiago. This provides state funding from the Galician government and the city council of Santiago for the orchestra as part of the city’s cultural programmes. The RFG’s activity at the Auditorio de Galicia involves a collaborative effort (by virtue of the institutional agreement between the Concellaría de Cultura and the Consorcio de Santiago regarding the work of the RFG) during concert seasons.
The RFG is part of the Asociación Española de Orquestas Sinfónicas (AEOS).