The Slovak State Philharmonic Košice was established in 1968 as the second professional symphony orchestra of the concert type in Slovakia. The first chief conductor of the orchestra was Bystrík Režucha, and under his leadership the orchestra became one of the leading representatives of the Slovak performing art at home and abroad. It performed on concert stages of European countries, but also in North America and Asia. In 1994 it introduced itself as the first Slovak symphony orchestra on the American continent.

The orchestra cooperated with numerous world-famous performers (Igor Oistrakh, Gidon Kremer, Giora Feidman, Ivan Moravec, Josef Suk, Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Sergej Kopčák, Peter Mikuláš, Peter Dvorský, and others) and leading conductors (Natan Rachlin, Thomas Sanderling, Alexander Rahbari, Tadeusz Strugala, Jiří Bělohlávek, Libor Pešek, Václav Smetáček, Ľudovít Rajter, Ladislav Slovák, Ondrej Lenárd, and others). The orchestra presents its regular concert activities mainly in the form of subscription concerts at the House of Arts in Košice (Dom umenia Košice), as well as recordings for radio, television and record label companies.

At present the chief conductor of the orchestra is Zbyněk Müller.