ONE OF SWEDEN'S LEADING SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS
The Malmö Symphony Orchestra (MSO) was founded in Malmö in 1925 and has been operating as purely a symphony orchestra since 1991. Prior to this, it occupied the dual role of being both the city's opera and symphony orchestra. At Malmö Live Concert Hall the MSO presents a rich and varied selection of concerts that are enjoyed by a large and enthusiastic audience.
The MSO consists of approximately 90 full-time professional musicians from around 17 different countries (as of 2017). The orchestra performs at a high international level, and with a new concert every week it excels in providing a rich and varied selection of concerts. International opera stars such as Juan Diego Flórez and Dmitri Hvorostovksy have performed highly praised concerts together with MSO at Malmö Live.
MSO is a proud bearer of the symphonic repertoire tradition, but it also strives to take this tradition and adapt it for the future. The orchestra works hard to keep pace with the symphonic trends expressed by contemporary composers and to develop new concert concepts, including its recurring video game concert series Joystick. The Teddy Bearconcerts for the whole family are an MSO trademark, and crossover concerts, in which the orchestra performs with artists from entirely different genres, have become extremely popular, with rave reviews for concerts with artists such as Entombed, Moto Boy, Jakob Hellman and Eggstone, Annika Norlin and Christer Björkman with guest artists Lill Lindfors, Love Antell, Sarah Dawn Finer, Maia Hirasawa and Shirley Clamp. A new feature for autumn 2017 was the highly celebrated film concerts in which the MSO played the score in a live accompaniment of the first Harry Potter film.
The 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons will entail a number of guest appearances for the MSO, both in Sweden and internationally. The orchestra’s participation together with Håkan Hardenberger at the 2017 Klosters Music Festival was a success, and in May-June 2018 a tour will be undertaken with the Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel, visiting venues in Dresden, Amsterdam and Hamburg, among others.
Down the years, a number of recordings with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra have won international recognition, with first prize in competitions such as Cannes Classical Awards and Diapason d’Or. Berwald’s symphonies with MSO under the direction of Sixten Ehrling were nominated for one of the world’s most prestigious awards, the Gramophone Award, and the releases of music by Charles Ives (Naxos) received critical acclaim and were named in October 2008 as that month’s Editor’s Choice by the British music magazine Gramophone.
Franz Schmidt’s symphonies (Naxos) with former chief conductor Vassily Sinaisky have also been recognised and acclaimed by Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine, among others. Sinaisky is currently the orchestra’s honorary conductor. The orchestra has also made a number of children’s albums, most recently with Georg Riedel (2009), and, together with Charlotte Perrelli, is the proud owner of a gold album (2008). In 2012, the album of Gösta Nystroem compositions (BIS) with former chief conductor Christoph König and Malena Ernman was nominated for a Swedish Grammis Award in the “Classical Album of the Year” category.
The Grieg recordings Music for Strings and Olav Trygvason (Naxos) received top ratings in the New York Times in both 2012 and 2013: “…beautifully played by the Malmo Symphony Orchestra of Sweden…”. In August 2013 the orchestra, together with chief conductor Marc Soustrot, began the comprehensive work of recording all of the symphonic music of Camille Saint-Saëns, which will result in eight albums (Naxos).