The Slovak Philharmonic, founded in 1949, is the leading orchestra of the Slovak Republic. At its birth stood the acclaimed personalities of international music life Václav Talich (1949 – 1952) and Ľudovít Rajter (1949 – 1976, until 1961 as its Artistic Director). On the artistic evolution of the orchestra participated chief conductors Tibor Frešo, Ladislav Slovák, Libor Pešek, Vladimir Verbitsky, Bystrík Režucha, Aldo Ceccato, Ondrej Lenárd (1991 – 2001). In the 2003/2004 season the artistic director was Jiří Bělohlávek. In 2004 the chief conductor Vladimír Váler began, and after from September 2007 Peter Feranec. Between 2009 – 2016 the Slovak Philharmonic was led by French conductor Emmanuel Villaume. The permanent guest conductor since 2007 is Leoš Svárovská and since the 2011/2012 season also Rastislav Štúr. Behind the conductor's counter since the foundation of the orchestra stayed many guest conductors, world-famous artists such as Claudio Abbado, Hermann Abendroth, Petr Altrichter, Karel Ančerl, Serge Baudo, Sergiu Celibidache, Christoph von Dohnányi, Vladimir Fedoseev, János Ferencsik, James Judd, Dmitri Kitayenko, Ken Ichiro Kobayashi, Kirill Kondrashin, Franz Konwitschny, Zdeněk Košler, Kurt Masur, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Riccardo Muti, Václav Neumann, Antonio Pedrotti, Alexander Rahbari, Karl Richter, Kurt Sanderling, Václav Smetáček, Pinchas Steinberg, Otmar Suitner, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Carlo Zecchi and many others.
The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra has realized many recordings for radio, television and music publishers (OPUS, Supraphon, Panton Hungaroton, JVC Victor, RCA, Pacific Music, Naxos and Marco Polo).
The Slovak Philharmonic has within its numerous international tours performed almost in all European countries, Asia, and USA. It is a regular guest at domestic and foreign music festivals. In 2015, for the twelfth time it performed a tour in Japan.
From the 2017/2018 concert season is the Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra James Judd.