The Palestine Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1936 under the leadership of Bronislaw Huberman. Huberman, a violinist, at first envisioned an international center for the arts, but instead focused on developing a critically acclaimed symphony orchestra. Conditions in Europe had become such that the orchestra could serve as a haven for persecuted Jewish musicians. Many immigration certificates became available, as the orchestra could provide employment for the refugees. The new immigrants themselves provided fresh talent and energy for cultural pursuits in the yishuv.
While Huberman continued to work on behalf of the orchestra, Arturo Toscanini agreed to become its first conductor. He was quick to help establish the orchestra's reputation. In addition to drawing talented musicians to the orchestra itself, many other chamber orchestras and groups formed throughout the yishuv.
In 1948, the orchestra changed its name to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The picture presented here is that of Huberman and Toscanini.