As the snow fell during February this year, Berwaldhallen commissioned Andrew Staples to make a film with the Swedish Radio Symphony of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. Together with SRSO Music Director Daniel Harding, Staples imagined the piece as a heartwarming love letter not from a composer to his wife but from the players of the SRSO to their absent audience.
Siegfried Idyll is the third film project Berwaldhallen has created with Andrew Staples and Daniel Harding, after Mozart’s Don Giovanni in June 2020 featuring Peter Mattei and Malin Byström, and Bach’s St John Passion.
Staples himself says that the film “tries to capture the aching desire of an entire cultural organization that is reaching out into its environment to connect with its audience across the temporary digital divide. Our aim is to bring the audience closer to the players, to their art, skill and passion while, for the time being at least, the auditorium remains empty.”
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras with an exciting and varied repertoire and a constant striving to break new ground The multi-award-winning orchestra has been praised for its exceptional, wide-ranging musicianship as well as collaborations with the world’s foremost composers, conductors and soloists.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the audience in the hall, the orchestra reaches many many listeners on the radio and the web and through it´s partnership with EBU. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play and with Swedish Television, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top orchestras.
“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!”
The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967. Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished Music Directors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed Conductors Laureate.
Daniel Harding is Music and Artistic Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with whom in 2022 he celebrated his 15-year anniversary. In the 2014/15 season he devised and curated the celebrated Interplay Festival, presenting a series of concerts and related inspirational talks involving artists, academics, scientists and philosophers. As Artistic Director he continues this type of influential programming at Berwaldhallen. He is also Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has worked for over 20 years.
A renowned opera conductor, he has led critically acclaimed productions at the Teatro alla Scala Milan, Theater an der Wien, Wiener Staatsoper, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals. He continues to work regularly with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle and the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2018 he was named Artistic Director of the Anima Mundi Festival.
Daniel Harding’s tenure as Music and Artistic Director will last throughout the 2024/25 season. “It is increasingly rare that the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra not only lasts for more than a decade, but keeps growing,” he says about working with the orchestra. “It is also rare for an orchestra of the highest musical standard to very obviously want to keep on growing.”
After playing the trumpet in his youth, he discovered conducting as a teenager. 17 years old, he led a performance of Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire with a student ensemble, which led to assisting Simon Rattle with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for a year. His time with Rattle and the orchestra ended with Harding’s professional debut, conducting the orchestra himself.
In 2002, Harding was awarded the title Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government, and in 2017 nominated to the position Officier des Arts et Lettres. In 2012, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2021, he was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He is also a qualified airline pilot.
MONICA Z - FOREVER AND EVER
Nordic Weeks: A Drama in the Air
Britta Byström’s fresh orchestral work A Drama in the Air opens this concert, followed by Bo Linde’s rarely performed cello concerto featuring award-winning cellist Amalie Stalheim, and Geirr Tveitt’s A Hundred Hardanger Tunes.
Nordic Weeks: Broman & Börtz
Malin Broman does double duty in Daniel Börtz’s Double Concerto for One, and acclaimed singers Johanna Wallroth and Jeremy Carpenter feature in Carl Nielsen’s third symphony, conducted by Alan Gilbert.