The Philharmonic Society (German: Philharmonische Verein) was founded in 1871 in Temesvár, Austria-Hungary (now Timișoara). Conductors included Heinrich Weidt, Martin Novácek, and Bruno Walter (1898-1899). Performers in Timișoara during this period included, as pianists Béla Bartók and Johannes Brahms; baritone Gheorghe Dima; cellist David Popper; and the violinists Leopold Auer, George Enescu, Joseph Joachim, Jan Kubelík, František Ondříček, Pablo de Sarasate, and Henryk Wieniawski.
In 1947 the orchestra was renamed the Banatul State Philharmonic, and eventually simply the Banatul Philharmonic.
Conductors of the Banatul Philharmonic have included George Pavel, Mircea Popa, Nicolae Boboc, Alexandru Șhumsky, Remus Georgescu, Paul Popescu, and Petru Oschanitzky. Gheorghe Costin and Radu Popu are the current permanent conductors. Guest conductors have included Kurt Herbert Adler, Roberto Benzi, Anatole Fistoulari, Kiril Kondrashin, Stanisław Wisłocki, and Adone Zecchi. Jean-François Antonioli was Principal Guest Conductor from 1993 to 2002.
Guest soloists with the orchestra have included pianists Dimitri Bashkirov, Julius Katchen, and Rudolf Kerer; violinists Ivry Gitlis, Gidon Kremer, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Spivakov, and Josef Suk; and cellists Miloš Sádlo and Daniil Shafran.
Other performers in Timișoara have included pianists Annie Fischer, Artur Rubinstein, and Carlo Zecchi; violinists Bronisław Huberman, Fritz Kreisler, Jacques Thibaud, and Eugène Ysaÿe; and cellists Pablo Casals and Gregor Piatigorsky. More recently vibraphonist Eldad Tarmu has played there.