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Classical music is perhaps one of the most endearing and long-lasting genres of music the world has to offer. New composers and artists continue to break the mold. In 2008, one of the oldest magazines dedicated to classical music, Gramophone, ranked the best symphony orchestras, which is, admittedly, a highly subjective venture, however, their decisions were more or less universally accepted. That being said, the following are 3 of the best symphony orchestras according to Gramophone.

  1. Berlin Philharmonic

The Berlin Philharmonic has been making music since 1882, with over 10 different conductors. Its current conductor, Sir Simon Rattle brought the group into further prominence, winning the orchestra several BRIT awards, as well as Grammy and Gramophone awards. The Berlin Philharmonic is essential to any definitive list of symphony orchestras, being recognized all over the world as one of the greatest.

  1. Chicago Symphony Orchestras

America is known primarily for 5 orchestras, promptly known as “The Big 5.” The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has rightfully earned its place on that list, as one of the most prominent groups in the United States. What sets the Chicago Symphony Orchestra aside from the other 4 is their incredible brass section, which boosts them far above many international symphony orchestras. For years, Daniel Barenboim bought the Chicago Symphony Orchestra into the light, but it is now being conducted by Riccardo Muti, an equally talented conductor. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been featured in some of the most renown classical music publications and lists, solidifying it among the greatest orchestras of all time.

  1. Boston Symphony Orchestra

As another member of “The Big 5,” the Boston Symphony Orchestra has made quite the name for itself, since its founding in 1881. The Boston Symphony Orchestra mainly performs in the Boston Symphony Hall, a concert hall modeled after Vienna’s Musikverein, but the orchestra has accomplished a great deal in its life. Performing live on NBC in 1926, the Boston Symphony Orchestra was the very first orchestra to play live on the radio. Andris Nelsons has conducted the orchestra since 2014, while simultaneously directing the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. With such a dedicated and qualified figure at the forefront, it is no wonder that the Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the most prestigious and enjoyed orchestras in the world.