Music Director Daniel Harding leads the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in two pieces about love and death: Antonìn Dvořák’s symphonic poem Die Waldtaube and Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka. Also, the celebrated German composer Jörg Widmann’s Horn Concerto with soloist Stefan Dohr, to whom the piece is dedicated.


dot 2024/2025





The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is a multiple-award-winning ensemble renowned for its high artistic standard and stylistic breadth, as well as collaborations with the world’s finest composers, conductors, and soloists. It regularly tours all over Europe and the world and has an extensive and acclaimed recording catalogue.

Daniel Harding has been Music Director of the SRSO since 2007, and since 2019 also its Artistic Director. His tenure will last throughout the 2024/2025 season. Two of the orchestra’s former chief conductors, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been named Conductors Laureate, and continue to perform regularly with the orchestra.

The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra performs at Berwaldhallen, concert hall of the Swedish Radio, and is a cornerstone of Swedish public service broadcasting. Its concerts are heard weekly on the Swedish classical radio P2 and regularly on national public television SVT. Several concerts are also streamed on-demand on Berwaldhallen Play and broadcast globally through the EBU.

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 2014/2015 season, he devised and curated the celebrated Interplay Festival, featuring concerts and related inspirational talks with renowned artists and academics. As Artistic Director, he continues this type of influential programming. Harding is also Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has worked for over 20 years, and Music Director of Youth Music Culture, The Greater Bay Area in China. The 2024/2025 season will be his first as Music Director at the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Harding is a regular visitor to the world’s foremost orchestras, including the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Staatskapelle Dresden and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala. In the US, he has appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony. A renowned opera conductor, he has led acclaimed productions at the Teatro alla Scala Milan, Wiener Staatsoper, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, and at the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals. He was Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris, the Anima Mundi festival of Pisa, and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Daniel Harding tours regularly with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, performing at prestigious venues all over Europe and the world, and has recorded several acclaimed and award-winning albums with the orchestra. His tenure as Music and Artistic Director will last throughout the 2024/2025 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.

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 des 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. Daniel Harding grew up in Oxford, England, and played trumpet before taking up conducting in his late teens. He is also, since 2016, a qualified airline pilot.


Approximate timings

One of the most productive collaborations of the 20th century was established when, in February 1909, patron of the arts Sergei Diaghilev heard two first performances by the then 26-year-old Stravinsky. Stravinsky’s first Russian ballet, The Firebird, premiered the following year to great acclaim. Around this time Stravinsky had come up with an idea for a work about ancient pagan rites, which Diaghilev liked, and Stravinsky went to Switzerland to work in peace and quiet. While there he felt a need to detach himself from music for the stage before embarking on this new, major project for Diaghilev’s company.

By way of change, Stravinsky wanted to write music for the concert hall. He began by composing several songs, and then he started working on a piece for piano and orchestra. He kept thinking about a doll, or jumping jack, a soulless toy that comes to life like Olympia in The Tales of Hoffman. But what would he call this bizarre piece? One day as he was walking along the banks of Lake Geneva he found it: Petrushka, an immortal, ill-fated fairytale hero similar to Harlequin and Pierrot.

When Diaghilev visited Stravinsky in Lausanne at the end of the summer in order to, as he believed, discuss the first draft of what was to become the ballet Rite of Spring, he instead found the composer busy with a different work. After having heard the first two movements he realised it had tremendous potential, and he asked Stravinsky to make it into a ballet. The fairytale plot takes place in St Petersburg during the festival of Lent. It is a dramatic love triangle between the three enchanted dolls Petrushka, the Ballerina and the Moor.

Text: Christina Tobeck

Approximate concert length: 2 hours 10 minutes with intermission