A Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra Patrons’ Association by the name of Pro Filharmonia was founded in 1993 and has been active ever since. Among the items on its agenda are concert tours and the purchase of first-class instruments for the orchestra’s use.
The first such instrument, a violin made by Michele Deconet in 1770, was purchased in 1999. Since then, Pro Filharmonia has helped with the acquisition of a Haahti violin from 2003, a Giacomo Rivolta cello from 1810, and a Tecchler viola from 1741. In other words, the work of Pro Filharmonia can truly be heard in the orchestra’s tone.
Nowadays the Association also awards grants for such things as further study and instrument maintenance. It also has a desk selling quality CDs at HPO concerts.
Pro Filharmonia’s mission is “to create and maintain relationships between concert audiences and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, to further the development of the players’ professional skills and to promote interest in and familiarity with concert music”. In 2015, the Association had over 450 members.
Sources: Pro Filharmonia's documents and website