Alban Berg’s violin concerto is neither harsh nor cold; on the contrary, it is a powerful and moving work with a striking sadness and sensitivity. Then again, he wrote it ”to the memory of an angel”, a painful echo of emptiness. In contrast: Brahms’s animated, almost exuberant third symphony. It was written when Brahms was fifty years of age and unmarried, but is imbued with the life motto of the forthright Brahms “Frei aber froh”, free but happy.




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 orchestra’s high-quality music making as well as its collaborations with internationally renowned composers, conductors and soloists have been rewarded with numerous prizes and accolades.

The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, chief conductor 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 formed in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. Since then, the orchestra’s concerts have always been broadcast by the Swedish Radio. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967.

Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished chief conductors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed conductors laureate together with Valery Gergiev, a regular guest conductor and co-founder of the Baltic Sea Festival.

Approximate concert length: 1 h 40 min (with intermission)

UPBEAT: Thursday, January 23 at 6 pm with Pernilla Eskilsdotter, who talks about the second of the three concerts she has chosen for her own concert series, a selection made with curiosity and love. Before this concert she talks about how she herself interprets that an angel is heard in a violin concerto.

UPBEAT: Saturday 25 January at 14.00 with Tanja Kaitaniemi who tells about the works being played at today’s concert.