Orchestras in Residence 2025: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra © Anton Sucksdorff

»The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra is the leading orchestra in Finland. It is the first orchestra I have ever conducted. I was overwhelmed not only by the quality of the orchestra, but also by how helpful and friendly they were towards me. Since then, I have come back to the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra almost every year. I have many friends there, and there are still many people I started with. I am very proud to bring this wonderful orchestra to the Salzburg Easter Festival, not only for »Khovanshchina«, but also for two concerts.«

Esa-Pekka Salonen

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO) is the orchestra of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle (Yleisradio). It was founded in 1927 by ten musicians as a radio orchestra and expanded into a symphony orchestra in the 1960s. Its Chief Conductors since then have been Toivo Haapanen, Nils-Eric Fougstedt, Paavo Berglund, Okko Kamu, Leif Segerstam, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo, Hannu Lintu, and since autumn 2021 Nicholas Collon.

In addition to the great classical-romantic masterpieces, contemporary music is also an important part of the FRSO’s repertoire, which premieres a number of Yle commissioned compositions every year. The orchestra is also responsible for recording all Finnish orchestral music for the Yle archive. Furthermore, it has recorded works by Gustav Mahler, Béla Bartók, Jean Sibelius, Kimmo Hakola, Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Aulis Sallinen, Jouni Kaipainen, Joonas Kokkonen and others.

»The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra is a splendid body indeed: scrupulous in ensemble, refined in tone, almost aristocratic.« The Times

In 2016 and 2019, the FRSO received the Finnish EMMA Award. Other awards include the BBC Music Magazine Prize, the Académie Charles Cros Prize, the MIDEM Classical Award and Grammy nominations in 2020 and 2021. Its recording »Jean Sibelius: Tapiola – En Saga – 8 Songs« was honoured with the International Classical Music Award (ICMA) in 2018. It has won the Gramophone Classical Music Award three times: in 2006 for Magnus Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto, in 2018 for Béla Bartók’s Violin Concertos and in 2023 for the album »Sigla. Flounce. Sedecim« with orchestral works by Lotta Wennäkoski and in 2023 it was nominated for the Gramophone Award as »Orchestra of the Year«.

Mahler Chamber Orchestra © Molinavisuals

Mahler Chamber Orchestra

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO), founded in 1997,has established a distinct sound and independent artistic identity. The Orchestra’s philosophy, inspired by founding mentor Claudio Abbado, emphasises the power of listening and communication both structurally
and musically; they call it »The Sound of Listening«. Itallows the Orchestra, its musicians and managing office,to operate as a democratic collective. Engaging with Artistic Partners, including Mitsuko Uchida, Yuja Wang, Pekka Kuusisto, Conductor Laureate Daniel Harding, Artistic Advisor Daniele Gatti, and Artistic Partner for Immersive Experiences Henrik Oppermann/Schallgeber; the MCO undertakes multiyear projects that explore diverse artistic themes.

With musicians representing 27 nationalities, residing in different parts of the world, the MCO reaches live audiences across 40 countries on fiive continents. The
Orchestra maintains residencies at renowned international venues including Carnegie Hall New York, Southbank Centre London, Lucerne Festival, Mozartwoche Salzburg, and Festival de Saint-Denis. They are frequent guests at Philharmonie Berlin, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg,
Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Musikverein Vienna.

In the realm of Outreach and Education, the MCO conducts three fllagship projects. The MCO Academy allows orchestra members to share their expertise with the next generation of musicians in collaboration with Orchesterzentrum|NRW and undertake residencies at Konzerthaus Dortmund, Kölner Philharmonie and the Philharmonie Essen. »Feel the Music« introduces music to deaf and hard-of-hearing children, encouraging a multi- sensory experience. And »Welcome Home«: a concert about fiinding the place where you belong, in
which school groups are invited on a multicultural journey, fostering introspection and contemplation on the theme of »Belonging«. These endeavours highlight the
MCO’s commitment to enriching lives through music and promoting inclusivity.

In collaboration with Artistic Partner for Immersive Experiences Henrik Oppermann/Schallgeber, the MCO explores new digital technologies in and beyond the
concert hall. Their virtual reality series immerses listeners deeper into performances and brings them closer to the music. The orchestra’s motivation and vision for the future is to constantly present new perspectives and make its own »Sound of Listening« tangible for as many
people as possible in different ways.