Swedish Chamber Orchestra
© Nikolaj LundOrchestra
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The Swedish Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1995 as the only chamber orchestra for Örebro in Sweden and was joined by its current Chief Conductor Thomas Dausgaard just two years later.  For the past twenty years Dausgaard and the ensemble have worked closely together to create their own unique and dynamic sound and the orchestra’s quick rise to success has put them steadily on the international arena.


With a tightly knit ensemble of 39 regular members, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra made its USA and UK debuts with Thomas Dausgaard in 2004 performing at the London Proms and Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart Festival.  The New York Times wrote of their performance:  “It has been a longstanding complaint in the classical music world that as recordings and jet travel have shrunk the globe, an international sound has been fostered that has filtered out regional differences in timbre and interpretation ... And every now and then an orchestra comes along with a sound that is surprising and fresh. The Swedish Chamber Orchestra, led by its music director, Thomas Dausgaard, produced a distinctive and consistently vibrant sound ... Mr Dausgaard made the Beethoven into a high-energy dazzler, driven by sizzlingly brisk string playing, with biting brass figures giving the music a stormy edge and making the neglected Fourth Symphony seem nearly as titanic as the Third and the Fifth."


Since 2004 the Swedish Chamber Orchestra has toured regularly throughout Europe, made its debut in Japan and returned to the States in 2008 for performances in New York, Washington, Cleveland and across West Coast America.  Tour highlights in the last year have included performances at both the London Proms and the Salzburg International Festival with Nina Stemme in 2010 and a tour of Germany in Spring 2011 which included the orchestra’s debut at the Berlin Philharmonie.


In Spring 2012 the orchestra returned to Germany for a tour with Andrew Manze and soloist Sabine Meyer and in December 2012 Thomas Dausgaard and Nina Stemme reunited with the orchestra for a special programme entitled “Love, Hope and Destiny”.


The Swedish Chamber Orchestra continues to expand its repertoire and open doors to new challenges; together with Dausgaard the ensemble has recorded the complete Beethoven Orchestral works for Simax and embarked on a new project with BIS which includes all the symphonies of Schumann as well Dvorak Symphonies nos 6 & 9. Spring 2010 they released their “Opening Doors” series with a recording of Schubert’s Symphonies nos 8 & 9. The release of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 2 has taken the ensemble into the realm of “high romanticism” with no less success or controversiality.  Reviewing the CD the UK’s Observer commented “Bruckner played by a chamber orchestra? For a composer associated with the colossal, especially when it comes to orchestral forces, it seems an impossible contradiction. Yet when played with the transparency, flexibility and individual character of these admired Swedish musicians, the results are exhilarating.”


Alongside their work with Thomas Dausgaard, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra regularly performs with conductor / composer HK Gruber and early music specialist, Andrew Manze, both of whom spend several weeks a year in Örebro working on new programs with the ensemble.  Through its high level of engagement the orchestra has additionally built up a first class list of visiting artists which for example includes Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Michael Collins, Brett Dean and James Ehnes.

With its range of repertoire and styles the ensemble has established its own unique voice   as the Münchner Abendendzeitung testifies:  “Their acclaimed recordings of Schumann and Beethoven have made these three dozen musicians from Sweden into a top tip … In concert such miracles are sometimes a disappointment. Not so with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival”.

SEASON 2017/2018


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Swedish Chamber OrchestraThomas Dausgaard
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  • Håkan Hardenberger
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