The FINNISH RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (Finnish: Radion
sinfoniaorkesteri, Swedish: Radions Symfoniorkester) is a Finnish
orchestra based in
Helsinki , and the orchestra of the Finnish
Broadcasting Company (Yle). The orchestra primarily gives concerts at
Helsinki Music Centre . Primary funding comes from television
licence fees from the Finnish population.
The ensemble was founded in 1927 as the Radio Orchestra with ten
musicians, with Erkki Linko as its first conductor. Though never
holding the title of chief conductor, Linko remained affiliated with
the orchestra until 1952.
Toivo Haapanen became the orchestra's first
chief conductor in 1929 and held the post until his death in 1950. The
orchestra performed mainly studio concerts for the first portion of
its history. Until
World War II
World War II , the orchestra gave only 20 public
concerts, with freelance musicians to bolster the ranks.
After World War II, with the new Director General Hella Wuolijoki in
place, the orchestra roster expanded to 50 musicians. In September
1947, the orchestra initiated a series of "Tuesday Concerts" at
Helsinki Town Hall. The roster grew to 67 musicians by 1953. The
orchestra's second chief conductor,
Nils-Eric Fougstedt , served from
1950 until his death in 1961, and expanded the orchestra's repertoire.
The third chief conductor,
Paavo Berglund , had been a violinist in
the orchestra 10 years prior to his 1961 accession to the chief
conductorship. The ensemble had grown to 90 members in the 1970s, into
a full symphony orchestra.
Jukka-Pekka Saraste , chief conductor from 1987 to 2001, is now the
orchestra's honorary conductor.
Sakari Oramo was chief conductor from
2003 to 2012, having earlier been concertmaster of the orchestra. In
December 2010, the orchestra announced the appointment of Hannu Lintu
as its eighth chief conductor, as of the 2013-2014 season, with an
initial contract of 3 years. Lintu held the title of principal guest
conductor during the 2012-2013 season. In April 2016, the FRSO
announced the extension of Lintu's contract as chief conductor through
The orchestra's discography includes, besides the music of Jean
Sibelius , music by other Finnish composers such as
Paavo Heininen ,
Joonas Kokkonen ,
Magnus Lindberg and
Aarre Merikanto . They have
also recorded repertoire by non-Finnish composers, such as symphonies
Gustav Mahler and
Carl Nielsen , and music of
Béla Bartók .
Toivo Haapanen conducting the orchestra at the Hietalahti
Shipyard in Helsinki, 1945
Toivo Haapanen (1929-1950)
Nils-Eric Fougstedt (1950–1961)
Paavo Berglund (1962–1971)
Okko Kamu (1971–1977)
Leif Segerstam (1977–1987)
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (1987–2001)