"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. Its Chief Conductor as of autumn 2013 is Hannu Lintu.
The Radio Orchestra of ten players founded in 1927 grew to symphony orchestra strength in the 1960s. Its previous Chief Conductors have been Toivo Haapanen, Nils-Eric Fougstedt, Paavo Berglund, Okko Kamu, Leif Segerstam, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo. The FRSO has two Honorary Conductors: Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo.
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 2016/2017 season it will premiere five works commissioned by Yle.
The 2016/2017 season looks to the future via the ‘Finland 100 Years’ jubilee. FRSO concerts will be highlighting Finnish Modernist pioneers Väinö Raitio, Uuno Klami, Aarre Merikanto and Ernst Pingoud. At the start of the autumn season, Chinese pianist Lang Lang will be the soloist with the FRSO at the Helsinki Festival. On 7–8 September Karita Mattila, Simon O’Neill and Mika Kares will sing in Act 1 of Wagner’s opera Die Walküre. Esa-Pekka Salonen will conduct Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Kent Nagano, renowned for his readings of Bruckner, will lead the orchestra through the 8th Symphony. Among the Finnish guest conductors will be John Storgårds and Osmo Vänskä, plus FRSO honorary conductors Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo. Teodor Currentzis, Artistic Director of the Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre, will make his FRSO debut with a programme of Mahler. Other new acquaintances will be conductors Gustavo Gimeno and Nicholas Collon. Violinist Leonidas Kavakos will play Beethoven and Daniil Trifonov a Piano Concerto by Ravel. Percussionist Martin Grubinger will be the soloist in the Percussion Concerto, Sieidi, by Kalevi Aho.
The FRSO has recorded works by Ligeti, Eötvös, Nielsen, Hakola, Lindberg, Saariaho, Salonen, Sallinen and others, and the debut disc of the opera Aslak Hetta by Armas Launis. Its discs have reaped some major distinctions, such as the BBC Music Magazine Award and the Académie Charles Cros Award. The disc of the Sibelius and Lindberg Violin Concertos (Sony BMG) with Lisa Batiashvili as the soloist received the MIDEM Classical Award in 2008, in which year the New York Times chose the other Lindberg disc as its Record of the Year. The recording of Ligeti’s Violin Concerto was Editor’s Choice in the Gramophone in February 2014.
All the FRSO concerts both in Finland and abroad are broadcast, usually live, on Yle Radio 1. They can also be heard and watched with excellent live stream quality on the FRSO website (yle.fi/rso).