After a long and continuous period of symphonic activity that dates back to 1845, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria (OFGC) was formed under the auspices of the public foundation of the same name. This foundation was created in 1980 by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria (Gran Canaria Island Government).
The OFGC has played with some of the foremost conductors, among them Rudolf Barshai, Frans Brüggen, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Bernhard Klee, Leopold Hager, Christopher Hogwood, Thomas Hengelbrock, Raymond Leppard, Jesús López Cobos, Iván Martín, John Nelson, Trevor Pinnock, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Steinberg, Ralf Weikert, Antoni Wit, as well as Adrian Leaper (Principal Conductor from 1994 to 2001-2002) and Pedro Halffter (Artistic Director and Principal Conductor from 2004 to 2016).
Singers such as Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Elina Garanca, Matthias Goerne, Alfredo Kraus, Petra Lang, Felicity Lott, Anne Sofie von Otter, René Pape, and instrumentalists such as Joaquín Achúcarro, Steven Isserlis, Janine Jansen, Isabelle van Keulen, Katia y Marielle Labèque, Alicia de Larrocha, Nikolai Lugansky, Mischa Maisky, Sabine Meyer, Daniel Müller-Schott, Eldar Nebolsin, Cécile Ousset, Maria João Pires, Mstislav Rostropovich, Fazil Say and Frank Peter Zimmermann have performed with the OFGC.
Due to the high level achieved, the OFGC has received many invitations to participate in the most important symphonic concert series in Spain: "Grandes Orquestas del Mundo" of Ibermúsica (Madrid), Palau 100 (Barcelona), Palau de Valencia, "Conciertos de Palacio" (La Coruña), as well as festivals such as Granada, Otoño in Madrid, Contemporary Music in Alicante, Juventudes Musicales, EXPO 92, Madrid Capital Cultural Europea and in the seasons of OCNE (Auditorio Nacional - Madrid), Sinfónica de RTVE (Teatro Monumental), Sinfónica de Tenerife (Auditorio de Tenerife), Sinfónica de Euskadi (San Sebastián, Vitoria, Bilbao and Pamplona) and Sinfónica de Navarra (Baluarte). The OFGC re-premiered the Himno a Aragón by Bernardino Valle as part of the celebrations of the Expo Zaragoza 2008.
Continuing in the same line, we highlight the tour to Germany in 1997, including the OFGC presentation in the Alte Oper Frankfurt, and the concert held in the frame of the events organized by the Pavilion of Spain in the Expo Lisbon 1998. In 2001 the OFGC toured to Austria, Germany and Switzerland, performing in such venues as the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg, the Philharmonie in Cologne and the Tonhalle in Zurich, in 2006 to Japan, performing in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Fukushima and Musashino and in 2007 to China consolidating its prestige as cultural ambassador in the most important concert halls of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and in 2012 the OFGC made a new and successful tour to Germany.
Recent highlights include the multitudinous concerts at the Gran Canaria Arena, at the Gran Canaria Stadium (with the performances Symphonicity, with Sting and his band, and Raphael Sinphónico), and at the containers terminal of La Luz Port in the Theatre, Music and Dance Festival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria "Temudas Fest".
La OFGC is commited with the performance of music in the municipalities of Gran Canaria. Latest concerts include the OFGC concerts at the Auditorium of Agüimes, Plaza de la Constitución of Agaete, Víctor Jara Theatre of Vecindario (200 anniversary of Santa Lucía de Tirajana), Auditorium of Teror (Saxophone and Jazz Festival and Fiestas de El Pino), International Trumpet Festival of Maspalomas (Auditorio-Parque San Fernando and ExpoMeloneras), "Concerts under the stars" at the Port of Arguineguín and the 200 anniversary of the parishes of Ntra. Sra. de la Candelaria in Ingenio and Moya.
The OFGC is resident orchestra for the Opera season in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
OFGC discography include recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Music, Arte Nova, ASV and the Agruparte series “La mota de polvo”.
The engagement with a broader society and with young generations in particular and the commitment with creative renewal are reinforced with actions and projects with a social commitment such as Música útil, Músicas en la plaza, Guanarteme para la mejora social, Mosaico de sonidos.
The OFGC has maintained an Educational Division which has been characterized by an excellent programme of concerts for school children. Worthy of mention are the collection of musical tales under the title of "The Speck of Dust" for AgrupArte, directed by Fernando Palacios. The OFGC has recently joined the Red de Organizadores de Conciertos Educativos ROCE (educational concerts organizers network).
The OFGC was awarded with the “Can de Plata” of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria in the 92nd anniversary of the corporation and with the Premio de las Artes y de la Ciencia Canarios del Mundo, in the modality of Scenic Arts and Music, granted by El Mundo newspaper and the Cabildo de Gran Canaria.
Karel Mark Chichon is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director sinde May 2017. Maestro Chichon have signed his contract renewal until 2023.
Günther Herbig is the Honorary Conductor of the OFGC since the 2018-2019 season.
The OFGC is a member of Spanish Association of Symphonic Orchestras (AEOS).