About Us

Mission & History

Our Mission

National Philharmonic engages, inspires, and unites diverse communities across the Washington, DC area through outstanding music performances and innovative education programs.


To share and amplify the power of music.


  • Access and Inclusion
  • Collaborative Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Educational Engagement
  • Inspirational Connections

Who We Serve

Based in Montgomery County, Maryland, National Philharmonic serves the metropolitan Washington, DC area, including Central and Eastern Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia.

Our History

National Philharmonic is known for performances that are “powerful” and “thrilling” (The Washington Post).

Celebrated for showcasing world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces, National Philharmonic continuously strives to create remarkable educational opportunities in the community while promoting diversity and representation in classical music.

National Philharmonic was formed in 1985 when Piotr Gajewski founded the Montgomery Chamber Orchestra, which later became the National Chamber Orchestra, presenting a season of five concerts in that inaugural year.

In anticipation of the opening of The Music Center at Strathmore, Gajewski determined that expanded programming would be necessary to perform at such a large venue. He began a strategically planned merger of National Chamber Orchestra and Masterworks Chorus. This merger took place on July 1, 2003, and resulted in the formation of the National Philharmonic.

Taking up residence at Strathmore in 2005, National Philharmonic was selected to “fine-tune” the hall, by performing a series of concerts to all second-grade students in Montgomery County at no charge. This has become an annual tradition that is maintained to this day.

The National Philharmonic is an accessible, enriching component in the Greater Washington DC Metropolitan Area, believing that music has the power to spark imagination and shape the world around us. As the only organization with a united orchestra and chorus in the region, over the years National Philharmonic has expanded its footprint, with year-round masterclasses along with Summer String and Summer Chorale Institutes for youth, armed services programs, and partnerships with community organizations. In addition to these programs, National Philharmonic fosters a love of music in young people across the region by offering free admission to all children between the ages 7 to 17 years old.

Support National Philharmonic

National Philharmonic relies on the generosity of its donors to continue bringing you the music. Your contribution is critical to our continued success.

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