|Alternative Spellings||Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, RSO Wien|
Lothar Zagrosek - Conductor from 1982 to 1986
Dennis Russell Davies - Conductor from 1996 to 2002
Cornelius Meister - Conductor from 2010
Milan Horvat - Conductor from 1969 to 1975
Pinchas Steinberg - Conductor from 1989 to 1996
Bertrand de Billy - Conductor from 2002 to 2010
Marin Alsop - Conductor from 2019
[…] Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, is unique because it is only radio symphony orchestra in Austria and is thus the official Austrian broadcast orchestra. Its repertory has been broad, taking in pre-Classical, Classical, Romantic, and 20th century music, with a substantial portion devoted to contemporary works. The orchestra typically performs at one of four Viennese locales: the Musikverein, Wiener Konzerthaus, ORF RadioKulturhaus, and the Theater an der Wien. The ensemble receives government funding and is regarded as a cultural goodwill ambassador for Austria. The orchestra consists of about 100 players and gives regular tours abroad, previous trips having taken them throughout Europe, the Americas, and Japan.
The Vienna RSO was formed in 1969 from the ORF Symphony Orchestra, a postwar ensemble largely devoted to contemporary music. The new ensemble retained the name of the parent orchestra and its management appointed the first chief conductor, Milan Horvat (1969-1975), who largely retained the policy of promoting music of contemporary Austrian composers and works by Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern.
With the ascension of Leif Segerstam as chief conductor in 1975, the Vienna RSO, while retaining a strong allegiance to 20th century music, began to focus attention on Classical and Romantic works, as well. This tendency was expanded further when Lothar Zagrosek (1982-1986) succeeded Segerstam. Zagrosek often played rarely encountered Classical works.
Pinchas Steinberg served as chief conductor from 1989-1996. It was in the latter year that the ensemble adopted its current name, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. More importantly, the management also appointed American Dennis Russell Davies the new chief conductor. Davies made numerous recordings with the orchestra, almost all focusing on modern or contemporary works by the likes of Berio, Glass, Kancheli, Silvestrov, and Tüür.
Bertrand de Billy succeeded Davies in 2002. He was even more active in the recording studio, with well over 20 recordings to his credit, recordings that covered broader repertory, including many standards by Haydn, Beethoven, Dvorák, Debussy, and more. In the latter years of his tenure de Billy had disputes with orchestra management that led to his decision to step down. In 2009 the orchestra's management announced that Cornelius Meister would succeed Davies in 2010, his tenure scheduled to run through at least 2014. Allmusic