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The Beginnings of the Philharmonic Society

In April of 1954, a few musically-interested people gathered in Santa Ana and concluded that it would be a fine thing, in view of the problem of getting into Los Angeles regularly, if symphony music could be brought to Orange County on a regular basis. In Frieda Belinfante, a resident of the area, there was someone uniquely in a position to make this hope a reality. 

On that first evening the group founded the Orange County Philharmonic Society (now the Philharmonic Society of Orange County) and then raised enough funds to permit Miss Belinfante to stage what she termed a "sample concert." The success of that occasion, held at the Santa Ana High School Auditorium in May 1954 was so marked that the initial backers of the project officially incorporated the Society.

Explore Our History

Frieda Belinfante

Frieda Belinfante

Frieda Belinfante served as the founding conductor of the Orange County Philharmonic Orchestra. We are indebted to Frieda, whose faith, inspiration and major contributions to the musical landscape in Orange County guided the Philharmonic Society's initial growth and development.

Premieres and Exclusives

Premieres and Exclusives

Since 1954 we have presented hundreds of first performances of new music, and have commissioned many works from the brightest musical talents.

Explore our highlights from over 70 years of programming.

Through the Decades: Highlights

Gallery: Our History in Pictures