Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra was established in Bratislava in 1929 as the first professional symphony orchestra in Slovakia. At the beginning, its programme consisted mostly of Slovak music. This beginning gave impetus to a revitalization of Slovak music and resulted in major works by such internationally known composers as Alexander Moyzes, Eugen Suchon and Jan Cikker.

The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra began with a limited concert season but its activities increased until where, in 1942, it embarked on a series of regular public concerts on radio. To a great extent, this development was the work of Alexander Moyzes, who was then head of the Music Department of the Slovak Radio.

From 1943 until 1946, the Croatian artist, Kresimir Baranovic was the Chief Conductor of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra developed and soon began to enjoy status as an excellent regional orchestra. Under Baranovic’s successors, culminating under the artistic direction of Ondrej Lenard, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra established itself as an internationally acclaimed ensemble with countless recordings available around the world. Lenard’s successor, Robert Stankovsky, continued this direction until his untimely death at the age of 36. He was succeeded by Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Oliver von Dohnanyi and, subsequently, by Mario Kosik.

In addition, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra’s podium has been shared by such greats as Karel Ancerl, Václav Smetácek, Andrew Mogrelia, Tomas Koutnik, Niels Muus, Kirk Trevor, Stanislav Macura and many others, all of whom have played a vital role in the development of this orchestra into the internationally known ensemble it is today.

The splendid Slovak Radio Concert Hall was built in 1983 and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra plays there to consistently full houses. The public concerts are broadcast “Live” and the popularity of the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra’s recordings has been a guarantee of the orchestra’s success. The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra records for, among other international labels, Opus, Supraphon, Naxos, Marco Polo and Arte Nova.

The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra has toured Austria, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Spain, Malta and Japan (the last tours in 2010 with 31 concerts and in 2014 with 11 concerts) and has concertized with such greats as José Carreras, Peter Dvorsky, Garrick Ohlsson, Vaclev Hudecek, Sherill Milnes, Eva Marton and Franco Bonisolli, as well as with the legendary pop artists Ray Charles and Lisa Minelli.

The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and its musicians are specialists in both the Romantic eras but also in great works of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra is an orchestra whose development and whose rich past demonstrate its legendary quality. It is an orchestra known around the world, to press and public alike, for the excellence of its music making.