The Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg was formed in 1855 and has had an illustrious series of principal conductors, including Hans Pfitzner (1907-1918), Guy Ropartz (1919-1929), Ernest Bour (1950-1963), Alain Lombard (1972-1983), Theodor Guschlbauer (1983-1997), Jan Latham-Koenig (1997-2003), Marc Albrecht (2006-2011) and, since September 2012, Marko Letonja. Guest conductors have included prestigious names such as Paul Paray, Eliahu Inbal, Karel Ancerl and Charles Munch.
Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Mahler and Penderecki, to name just a few, have conducted the orchestra in performances of their own works. The OPS has earned itself a solid international reputation through numerous tours abroad (Brazil, the USSR, the United States, Japan and most European countries) and its appearances in in top-rung festivals such as Aix-en-Provence and Musica and through its recordings and television broadcasts. In February 2006, for example, the orchestra was awarded the Victoire de la Musique Classique for the best recording of the year, for its CD of the music of Jean-Louis Agobet (born in 1968).
The OPS also plays at the Opéra national du Rhin and gives over 30 concerts per year in the city, while reaching out to new audiences across Alsace. In 1994, it was given the title of "Orchestre national" by the French Ministry of Culture.