Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra is an orchestra based in San Francisco, which is dedicated to historically informed performance of Baroque, Classical and early Romantic music on original instruments. It was founded in 1981 by harpsichordist, teacher, and early music pioneer Laurette Goldberg (1932-2005). The ensemble added the Philharmonia Chorale in 1995.
Nicholas McGegan has been Music Director of Philharmonia Baroque since 1985. In addition, Philharmonia Baroque has welcomed eminent guest conductors to its podium including William Christie, Andrew Parrott, Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt, Trevor Pinnock, Monica Huggett and Stanley Ritchie.
Philharmonia performs a seven-concert subscription season in three cities in the San Francisco Bay Area -- San Francisco, Berkeley, and Atherton/Palo Alto—and is regularly heard on tour in United States and internationally. In 2005 Philharmonia debuted at the BBC Proms, Snape Maltings (UK) and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as part of its European tour. In August 2011, the Orchestra performed Handel’s opera Orlando at the Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, and Tanglewood festivals.
In 1990, Philharmonia began a successful collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Joint productions have included Purcell's Dido and Aeneas; Vivaldi's Gloria; Handel's L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; and Rameau's ballet-opera Platée.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has made a number of recordings for Harmonia Mundi, Reference Recordings and BMG and released a self-produced 2-CD set of music of Alessandro Scarlatti on the Avie label. In 2011, Philharmonia launched its own CD label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions and has released several titles, including a recording of Berlioz’s "Les Nuits d’été" and Handel arias featuring mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson; a collection of three Haydn symphonies; and a recording of Vivaldi’s "The Four Seasons" plus three other violin concertos. The Orchestra is also featured in a monthly live radio program on the second Sunday of each month on KDFC-FM in the Bay Area.
Philharmonia was named "Ensemble of the Year" for 2004 by Musical America.