Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Biography and history

More than 100 exceptional musicians make up the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, a multiple-award-winning ensemble renowned for its high artistic standard and stylistic breadth, as well as collaborations with the world’s finest composers, conductors, and soloists.

Daniel Harding has been Music Director of the SRSO since 2007, and since 2019 also the orchestra’s first ever Artistic Director. His tenure will last throughout the 2024/2025 season. “It is increasingly rare for the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra not only to last for more than a decade, but to keep growing,” Harding says about working with the orchestra. On his 15th anniversary with the orchestra, he described it as his musical family. “I’ve never conducted a concert in which the orchestra hasn’t played as if its life depended on it.”

The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra performs at Berwaldhallen, concert hall of the Swedish Radio, and is a cornerstone of Swedish public service broadcasting. Its concerts are heard weekly on the classical radio P2 and regularly on national public television SVT, as well as globally through the European broadcast alliance EBU. During the pandemic, its much-appreciated on-demand streamed concerts on Berwaldhallen Play brought further worldwide attention to the orchestra.

The orchestra tours regularly, receiving invitations from all over Europe and the world. In March 2024, Harding and the SRSO performed major works by Mahler, Strauss and Alfvén together with regular musical partner, baritone Christian Gerhaher. Venues included the Elbphilharmonie, Concertgebouw, KKL Luzern, Philharmonie de Paris and Müpa Budapest.

In March 2023, Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra performed two programmes at the Musikverein in Vienna, with highlights including Robert Schumann’s Manfred performed with the Wiener Singverein and actor Cornelius Obonya, and Schumann’s Violin Concerto with Christian Tetzlaff. In September 2023, Harding and the SRSO played an all-Sibelius programme at the Sibelius Festival in Lahti, Finland, featuring María Dueñas in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto.

The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, coinciding with Sweden’s first national radio broadcasts. Throughout the 20th century, chief conductors like Sergiu Celibidache and Herbert Blomstedt furthered the orchestra’s musical development and international renown. Two of the SRSO’s former chief conductors, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been named Conductors Laureate, and continue to make regular appearances with the orchestra.

The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra has an extensive and acclaimed recording catalogue. Recent releases include Jesper Nordin’s triptych Röster, works by Britten featuring Andrew Staples and the SRSO’s solo hornist Chris Parkes, and Eduard Tubin’s Double Bass Concerto with the SRSO’s solo bassist Rick Stotijn. Daniel Harding’s other noteworthy recordings with the SRSO include Schönberg’s Violin Concerto with Isabelle Faust, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem featuring Christiane Karg and Matthias Goerne, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.