The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Swedish: Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester, = SRSO) is a radio orchestra based in Stockholm, Sweden, and affiliated with Sveriges Radio (Swedish Radio). The orchestra broadcasts concerts on the Swedish Radio-P2 network.
One of the precursor ensembles to the current orchestra was the Radioorkestern (Radio Orchestra), whose chief conductors included Nils Grevillius (1927-1939) and Tor Mann (1939-1959). In 1965, the Radioorkestern was merged with another orchestra from Swedish Radio, the Underhållningsorkestern (Entertainment Orchestra), under the new name of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Sergiu Celibidache was the newly formed orchestra's first principal conductor, from 1965 to 1971. In 1979, the orchestra took up residence at the Berwaldhallen (Berwald Hall).
The SRSO consists of just over a hundred first-rate musicians. The Orchestra also serves as the symphony orchestra for the whole of Sweden since all of its concerts are broadcast via Swedish Radio P2. But the possibility to see and hear one of the world’s greatest orchestras is not reserved for Sweden They tour internationally on a regular basis, most recently in June 2010 where they performed a number of acclaimed concerts in China and Japan. Recently they travelled with the Swedish Radio Choir to the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels where they gave five concerts in connection with Sweden’s EU Presidency. They gave an additional five concerts in northern Italy.
Those who are unable to attend any of the e concerts of the SRSO concerts or listen to them on P2, can still enjoy their music. The recording of Anders Eliasson’s piece Quo Vadis was recently released on CD, and the Grammy-winning recording of Hilary Hahn and the SRSO, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, is also available on CD. In addition, almost all concerts are aired on the radio in large parts of the world through the European EBU collaboration, and thus reach more than 80 million listeners.
The SRSO is constantly collaborating with the most prominent soloists and conductors in the world. In addition, they perform many guest concerts at concert halls and festivals; tours are an important part of their work. The high standard of the ensemble has been built up over a long period of time by several conductors. The SRSO is now considered one of Europe’s leading orchestras. International star conductors - among them Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Myung-Whun Chung, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Edo de Wart and Herbert Blomstedt - have described the orchestra as an ensemble characterised by strong integrity and eagerness to collaborate.
The Laureate Conductors of the SRSO are Herbert Blomstedt, Principal Conductor from 1977 to 1982, and Valery Gergiev. Since 2007, the orchestra's Principal Conductor is Daniel Harding, one of the leading international conductors of his generation. In September 2009, the orchestra announced the extension of Daniel Harding's contract as Principal Conductor through 2012. During an interview before a concert in May, he had the following to say: “In my life, I have made many decisions as a conductor. One of my best decisions was to come here to the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.”
A strong interest in new music has a palpable influence on the repertoire. Orders from Swedish composers are made on a regular basis. In addition, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra has made a long succession of recordings and has received several Swedish and international awards, inluding a Grammy and also several Grammy nminations.