Nordic Weeks: Sibelius – Harding – Dueñas

Jean Sibelius only wrote one violin concerto, but nevertheless his D minor concerto from 1904 is regarded by many as a success. Renowned violinist María Dueñas performs it here with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and its music director Daniel Harding, who also presents Sibelius’ symphonies nos. 1 and 7.

Listen to the concert from Lahti on September 8 in Swedish Radio P2 Friday September 29 after 20.00, or watch the concert from Berwaldhallen on September 6 on Berwaldhallen Play Friday September 29 at 19:00.





The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras with an exciting and varied repertoire and a constant striving to break new ground The multi-award-winning orchestra has been praised for its exceptional, wide-ranging musicianship as well as collaborations with the world’s foremost composers, conductors and soloists.

Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the audience in the hall, the orchestra reaches many many listeners on the radio and the web and through it´s partnership with EBU. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play and with Swedish Television, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top orchestras.

“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!”

The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967. Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished Music Directors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed Conductors Laureate.

Daniel Harding is Music and Artistic Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with whom in 2022 he celebrated his 15-year anniversary. In the 2014/2015 season he devised and curated the celebrated Interplay Festival, presenting a series of concerts and related inspirational talks involving artists, academics, scientists and philosophers. As Artistic Director he continues this type of influential programming at Berwaldhallen. He is also Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has worked for over 20 years.

A renowned opera conductor, he has led critically acclaimed productions at the Teatro alla Scala Milan, Theater an der Wien, Wiener Staatsoper, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, and at the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals. He continues to work regularly with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle and the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2018 he was named Artistic Director of the Anima Mundi Festival.

Daniel Harding’s tenure as Music and Artistic Director will last throughout the 2024/2025 season. “It is increasingly rare that the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra not only lasts for more than a decade, but keeps growing,” he says about working with the orchestra. “It is also rare for an orchestra of the highest musical standard to very obviously want to keep on growing.”

After playing the trumpet in his youth, he discovered conducting as a teenager. 17 years old, he led a performance of Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire with a student ensemble, which led to assisting Simon Rattle with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for a year. His time with Rattle and the orchestra ended with Harding’s professional debut, conducting the orchestra himself.

In 2002, Harding was awarded the title Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government, and in 2017 nominated to the position Officier des Arts et des Lettres. In 2012, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2021, he was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He is also a qualified airline pilot.

Violinist María Dueñas enchants her audiences with the breathtaking variety of colours she elicits from her instrument, with her technical skills, artistic maturity and bold interpretations.

María Dueñas studies with the world-renowned violin teacher Boris Kuschnir at the University of Music and Performing Arts in her adopted home of Vienna. Born in Granada in 2022, she was accepted at the conservatory in her hometown at the age of seven. In 2014, a scholarship abroad took her to Dresden for two years, where she caught the attention of conductor Marek Janowski, at whose invitation she later made her debut as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

After a series of first prizes at prestigious international competitions, María Dueñas caused a sensation in 2021, particularly at the Menuhin Violin Competition, where she won first prize and the audience prize. In April 2023, she was awarded the prestigious Premio Princesa de Girona de las Artes y las Letras in her home country.

The versatile musician, who also is a passionate composer, is now in demand worldwide and has already performed with many major orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra, under important conductors such as Marek Janowski, Manfred Honeck, Vladimir Spivakov, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Gustavo Gimeno and Michael Sanderling. She enjoys a regular collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel.

As an exclusive artist of Deutsche Grammophon, she released her first album Beethoven and Beyond in May 2023 with Manfred Honeck and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra to great critical acclaim. The recording focuses on the Beethoven Violin Concerto with her own cadenzas.

María Dueñas plays the Nicolò Gagliano violin of 17?4, on loan by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, and the Stradivari ”Camposelice” of 1710, loaned to her by the Nippon Music Foundation.

Approximate duration: 2 hrs with intermission