ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
In 1969, the Vienna RSO grew out of the main orchestra of the Austrian Radio. Under the leadership of its chief conductors, Milan Horvat, Leif Segerstam, Lothar Zagrosek, Pinchas Steinberg, Dennis Russell Davies, and Bertrand de Billy, the orchestra has continuously expanded its repertoire amid growing international renown. Cornelius Meister took over as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director in September 2010. The Vienna RSO is known for its exceptional, bold programming. By combining nineteenth-century repertoire with contemporary pieces and rarely performed works of other time periods, our programming often places Romantic era classics in unexpected contexts.
The RSO regularly performs on two subscription series in the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus. The number of subscribers to these series has increased significantly as of late. In addition, the RSO appears annually at major Austrian and international festivals. The orchestra has close ties to the Salzburg Festival, the Wiener Festwochen, Wien Modern, and musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst, which provides a platform for the performance of new and experimental music. Tours to Japan and China are a regular part of the RSO schedule as well. The orchestra has also performed in the USA and South America. Our most recent tours have taken us to the Berlin and Cologne Philharmonic Halls, the Alte Opera in Frankfurt, and the Tonhalle in Düsseldorf. Since 2007, the RSO has successfully collaborated with the Theater an der Wien, thereby gaining an excellent reputation as an opera orchestra. Nonetheless, the RSO is also entirely at home in the film music genre.
Leonard Bernstein, Ernest Bour, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Gielen, Ingo Metzmacher, Andris Nelsons, Kirill Petrenko, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Guiseppe Sinopoli, Hans Swarowsky, Jeffrey Tate, and Simone Young are among the guests who have stood on the podium of the Vienna RSO, and composers Luciano Berio, Friedrich Cerha, Peter Eötvös, Hans Werner Henze, Ernst Krenek, Bruno Madera, and Krzysztof Penderecki have all conducted the orchestra. Internationally renowned soloists that make regular appearances with the Vienna RSO include Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Martin Grubinger, Hilary Hahn, Patricia Kopachinskaya, Lang Lang, Sabine Meyer, Heinrich Schiff, and Christian Tetzlaff.
The broad scope of our recording activities includes works in every genre, among them many first recordings of modern and contemporary Austrian composers.
The Vienna RSO has initiated a broad-based educational program. Many highly talented musicians have been admitted to our very own RSO orchestra academy since 1997. The Vienna RSO plays regularly for the final concerts of the conducting classes at the Vienna University of Music. In 2013 the educational project "My RSO – Greatest Hits for Contemporary Orchestra" was awarded the Bank Austria Kunstpreis in the category of Art Education (Kunstvermittlung).