The Malmö Symphony Orchestra is one of Sweden's major orchestral ensembles. For a regional group, it has an unusually wide musical footprint, featuring an international group of players, conductors, and guest artists.
The Malmö Symphony Orchestra was founded in the city of Malmö in 1925. For many years, the orchestra accompanied presentations at the Malmö Opera and Music Theatre, but since 1991, it has devoted itself entirely to symphonic concerts. The orchestra's first conductor was Walther Meyer-Radon (1925-1929). He was succeeded by a Finn, Georg Schnéevoigt, and since then the principal conductors have been a mix of Swedes and foreigners, including several who had major international careers: Herbert Blomstedt (principal conductor for a short time in the early 1960s), Vernon Handley, James DePreist, and Paavo Järvi. Marc Soustrot was chief conductor from 2011 to 2019, and he was succeeded by Robert Treviño. By the late 2010s, the orchestra, 92 musicians strong, included players from 17 different countries. It performs weekly at the new Malmö Live concert hall. While devoted to the traditional symphonic repertory, the Malmö Symphony Orchestra has committed itself to developing new concert forms: while guest artists have included international opera stars such as Juan Diego Flórez, the orchestra has also performed with artists from outside the classical sphere including Entombed, Annika Norlin and Christer Björkman. In 2017, the orchestra performed the soundtrack live for a showing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It has also offered a video game music concert series called "Joystick."
The Malmö Symphony Orchestra has recorded extensively for the BIS and Naxos labels, often focusing on Scandinavian music and the music of Saint-Saëns. In 2019, the group released four albums, featuring the music of d'Indy, Kabalevsky, Rolf Martinsson, and finally, the rarely heard ballet music by Saint-Saëns.
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