Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has in recent years become one of the most successful orchestras in Scandinavia, achieving major artistic development and attracting an ever greater following, both nationally and internationally. This success is due in part to the fact that, in the autumn of 2012, the orchestra was able to move into a brand new concert hall, built to the highest European standards. The hall has been described as a “temple of music” by French pianist Helene Grimaud who took part in the opening gala performance in September 2012.
The Venezuelan conductor Christian Vasquez is the orchestra’s current Chief Conductor. Previous conductors to hold this position have been Steven Sloane and Susanna Mälkki.
Since the inaugural concert in August 2013, with a highly acclaimed performance of Mahler 2, Maestro Vasquez and the orchestra have performed a wide range of repertoire and special projects to include amongst others composer-in-residence festivals. The SSO has won praise for the success in expanding its audiences to record numbers attendance, and in particular for its work with the integration of refugees.
The orchestra has also for the last 25 years had a particular focus on authentic performance practice of the Baroque and Classical repertoire, with Frans Brüggen, followed by Philippe Herreweghe and Fabio Biondi as artistic leaders.
This collaboration has brought critical acclaim and international success for the orchestra and some highly acclaimed CD- recordings, receiving Diapasons (Biondi 2012 and 2014) and L’Orphées d’Or - Prix Special 2014 (Biondi). The SSO also received a Gramophone Awards nomination in 2012 for its recording of Per Nørgård’s music.
The Stavanger Symphony Orchestra tours regularly internationally, having performed in recent years in the US, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, the Netherlands and Japan.
The orchestra’s patron is H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.