About the New Mexico Philharmonic

Celebrating New Mexico’s Cultural & Musical Diversity

The New Mexico Philharmonic (NMPhil) is the state’s largest professional classical symphony orchestra, and second only to the Santa Fe Opera, is the largest performing arts organization in New Mexico. It is the flagship classical music organization in New Mexico, performing for 40,000+ audience members and serving 20,000+ students each season and is a vital part of New Mexico’s cultural scene. It is also an important economic driver as a key cultural asset that helps to create the quality of life that attracts and keeps businesses and individuals in the community. NMPhil musicians are also employed by all professional music organizations in New Mexico that use classically trained professional musicians, further enhancing the quality of life in the state. 


The New Mexico Philharmonic increases the cultural, economic and musical vitality of the state and has national and international recognition for its excellence.


The New Mexico Philharmonic embraces our state’s and nation’s cultural and musical diversity and enriches lives by providing excellent music, community engagement, and educational opportunities.


  • Excellence in all our practices
  • Responsibility in all our actions
  • Service to all our communities
  • Centered on our artists, audience & patrons


The NMPhil grows successfully, providing the highest quality of music programming and performance possible to satisfy the expectations of audience members and the needs of the children served by the music education programs. It is composed of 75 conservatory-trained (or equivalent) professional musicians and the Music Director (and primary conductor); four full-time and six-part time staff members and several contractors referred to as a group as the management staff; a board of directors of 15; and over 30 volunteers

The values of NMPhil were established during the first strategic planning cycle in 2012 and endure unchanged to this day. They drive all actions and decisions and are the foundation of NMPhil’s culture. The values of excellence, responsibility and service are lived out through the mission of enriching lives through music.

Read Full NMPhil Organizational Profile (Update October 2022)

The New Mexico Philharmonic was incorporated by musicians of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (NMSO) as a non-profit organization on October 21, 2009, when the possible closing of the financially troubled NMSO was recognized. The New Mexico Philharmonic was dormant as an organization until May 2011 after the NMSO declared bankruptcy. Following the bankruptcy, community members not affiliated with NMSO joined NMPhil’s board of directors and began fundraising. 

By fall 2011, NMPhil successfully raised over $100,000 to purchase the key assets of the NMSO to begin operations, hired an executive director, retained and acknowledged the tenure of NMSO musicians and began performing its first season.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry stated of the New Mexico Philharmonic:

In 1932 members of the Albuquerque Rotary Club adopted a resolution to organize a symphony orchestra. The Rotarians asked Grace Thompson Edmister to form the Symphony Civic Orchestra, making Edmister the first woman in the United States to conduct such an ensemble. Immediately after the announcement was made, community members stepped forward to launch the inaugural event. The University of New Mexico offered instruments, sheet music, and a concert location. Mayor Clyde Tingley went door-to-door inviting community members to the concert. The response of the city was beyond expectations with 2,000 people in attendance. At the end of the concert, Rotary Club International President Clinton P. Anderson officially presented the orchestra to the City of Albuquerque, which was accepted on behalf of the citizens of Albuquerque by Mayor Tingley.

The orchestra received its first payment for performing at the KiMo Theatre for the dedication of KOB, the first 50,000 watt radio station in Albuquerque. It was decided that the performance payment would be used to purchase the first sheet music owned by the orchestra.

After the Symphony Civic Orchestra’s 1932 inaugural performance, Albuquerque Mayor Clyde Tingley wrote the following letter to Conductor Grace Thompson Edminster:

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NMPhil Annual Fund

Your New Mexico Philharmonic is here today because of the loyal, unwavering support received from our donor and audience family!

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