A Brief History of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic: In 1932, four Poughkeepsie businessmen who were also dedicated string players--George Hagstrom, Sydney Fleishman, Charles T. Miller and Dr. Charles Hoffman formed the nucleus of local musicians that eventually evolved into the Dutchess County Philharmonic Orchestra. With Hagstrom as its first conductor, the orchestra was made up of amateurs and professionals alike, plus a number of music students from surrounding high schools. In 1934, local backing enabled the DCPO to perform its first series of public concerts. By the 1940s, it had grown to 93 musicians. DCPO repertoire was largely classical, including some contemporary music and works by local composers. In 1945, George Hagstrom stepped down as music director handing the baton over to Ole Windingstad, a European-trained conductor who came from the Bergen Symphony in Norway and the New Orleans Symphony. On October 29, 1953 under the direction of Maestro Windingstad, the orchestra presented a program of two Norwegian composers, Grieg and Sparre-Olsen at New York's Carnegie Hall. It was also during Maestro Windingstad's tenure that the orchestra presented Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf narrated by former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. By 1959, Claude Monteux, world-class flutist and son of legendary conductor Pierre Monteux, had elevated the orchestra to a fully professional ensemble renamed the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Society, Inc. Under his baton, the HVP became a prestigious regional orchestra serving Dutchess, Ulster , Orange , Rockland and Columbia counties. The Young People's Concerts program we offer today is a direct descendent of the school-day concerts introduced by Maestro Monteux.