Music Director Daniel Harding
Daniel Harding has been chief conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. He is also chief conductor of the Orchestre de Paris (until the end of the 2018-19 season), Artistic Director of the Anima Mundi festival in Pisa and Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with which he has worked for more than 20 years.
Biography Daniel Harding
Harding regularly conducts leading orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Concertgebouw orchestra in Amsterdam. He has made several award-winning recordings, including Grammy winning Billy Budd by Benjamin Britten with the London Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s Third and Fourth Piano Concertos with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Maria João Pires.
Harding started to play the trumpet as a child, but in his teens his interest in conducting took over. When he was seventeen he gave a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with a student ensemble, which led to a job as assistant to Sir Simon Rattle with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for a year. He ended his time there by conducting the orchestra himself, which was his professional début as a conductor.
In August 2018 Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra ended the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival with Mahler’s spectacular Symphony No. 8, together with a lineup of international star soloists including Karen Cargill and Christopher Maltman. In September Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra appeared at the Anima Mundi festival in Pisa and in November they set out on an extensive European tour with concerts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other countries. Harding is also a much sought-after opera conductor with regular engagements at La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera and the Aix-en-Provence festival.
Daniel Harding is committed to educating and inspiring his audience. He wants children and youngsters to experience music directly with an instrument in their hands and for audiences to have a deeper relation to – and understanding of – the music. “What I’m trying to get over is that music isn’t a mere diversion,” Daniel Harding says. “Music is an implicit part of our lives, and I think when audiences become aware of that they’ll actually listen in a different way.”
In October 2018 it was announced that Daniel Harding has extended his contract with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and will also become the orchestra’s first Artistic Director. The new role gives him overall responsibility for the orchestra’s artistic vision and the opportunity to create new programme formats and ideas for audience development and to present classical music in an innovative way.
“We are very proud that Daniel Harding leads our orchestra. His passion, his energy and creativity challenge us and our audiences every day. He is also a brilliant ambassador for the Swedish Radio, a luxury that few broadcasting companies enjoy. With Daniel Harding the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra plays a crucial role in musical life, both in Sweden and abroad,” says Cilla Benkö, Director General of the Swedish Radio.
“It is increasingly rare that the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra not only survives for more than a decade but also continues to deepen and grow. It is also extremely rare with an orchestra that has the highest musical intelligence and quality but so clearly wants to go on developing,” says Daniel Harding about the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.