"The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra is a splendid body indeed: scrupulous in ensemble, refined in tone, almost aristocratic." (The Times)
The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO) is the orchestra of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle). Its mission is to produce and promote Finnish musical culture and its Chief Conductor as of autumn 2013 has been Hannu Lintu.
The Radio Orchestra of ten players founded in 1927 grew to symphony orchestra proportions in the 1960s. Its Chief Conductors have been Toivo Haapanen, Nils-Eric Fougstedt, Paavo Berglund, Okko Kamu, Leif Segerstam, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo, and taking over from Hannu Lintu in 2021 will be Nicholas Collon.
In addition to the great Classical-Romantic masterpieces, the latest contemporary music is a major item in the repertoire of the FRSO, which each year premieres a number of Yle commissions. Another of the orchestra’s tasks is to record all Finnish orchestral music for the Yle archive. During the 2019/2020 season, the FRSO will premiere four works commissioned by Yle. Also on the programme are a large-scale collaboration between Yle and the Helsinki Festival: Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust. The symphonies and concertos of Dmitri Shostakovich will occupy special status during the season, while the RSO Festival now to be held for the second time will feature new and large-scale works by Magnus Lindberg. Among the visiting conductors will be Esa-Pekka Salonen, Herbert Blomstedt, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo, and a host of young Finnish artists will make their debut as FRSO soloists.
The FRSO has recorded works by Mahler, Bartók, Sibelius, Hakola, Lindberg, Saariaho, Sallinen, Kaipainen, Kokkonen and others. It has twice won a Gramophone Award: for its disc of Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto in 2006 and of Bartók Violin Concertos in 2018. Other distinctions have included BBC Music Magazine, Académie Charles Cros and MIDEM Classical awards. Its disc of tone poems and songs by Sibelius won an International Classical Music Award (ICMA) in 2018, and it has been the recipient of a Finnish EMMA award in 2016 and 2019.
The FRSO regularly tours to all parts of the world. During the 2019/2020 season its schedule will include tours to Central Europe and Japan under Hannu Lintu.
The FRSO concerts are broadcast live on the Yle Areena and Radio 1 channels and are recorded and shown later on Yle Teema and TV 1.