The IPO is one of the flagship institutions of the Israeli state, tracing its history to the 1930’s under the British Mandate. The IPO Foundation describes the orchestra as “Israel’s musical ambassador,”  while the American Friends of the IPO says this about it:
Often said to have more heart than other orchestras, the IPO is Israel’s finest cultural emissary and travels throughout the world, particularly to countries where there is little or no Israeli representation. In some cases, performances of the IPO are the only example of Israel’s existence. The goodwill created by these tours, which have included historic visits to Japan, Argentina, Poland, Hungary, Russia, China and India, is of enormous value to the State of Israel. As a result, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra maintains its position at the forefront of cultural diplomacy and the international music scene "