Orchestre de La Suisse Romande

The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande was founded in 1918 by Ernest Ansermet, who remained principal conductor until 1967. The orchestra employs 112 permanent musicians and performs a series of subscription concerts in Geneva and Lausanne, the symphony concerts of the city of Geneva, the annual concert for the United Nations as well as playing for opera performances at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.

Marek Janowski has been the orchestra’s artistic and music director since 1 September 2005.

The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande achieved world renown under its founding conductor and under its successive music directors: Paul Kletzki (1967-1970), Wolfgang Sawallisch (1970-1980), Horst Stein (1980-1985), Armin Jordan (1985-1997), Fabio Luisi (1997-2002), Pinchas Steinberg (2002-2005) and continues to make an active contribution to music history by discovering or supporting contemporary composers of prime importance whose works were first performed in Geneva. These include Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussy, Peter Eötvös, Heinz Holliger, Arthur Honegger, Michael Jarrell, Frank Martin, Darius Milhaud, Igor Stravinsky and others. Since the year 2000 the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande has given the world premieres of about twenty works in cooperation with Radio Suisse Romande. The orchestra also supports contemporary music in Switzerland by regularly commissioning works from the composers William Blank and Michael Jarrell.

Working closely with Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande, music performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande was very soon broadcast on radio and on short wave and was thus received by millions of listeners throughout the world. Thanks to the partnership with Decca, which gave rise to several legendary recordings, the orchestra’s renown continued to grow. The OSR has also recorded for Æon, Cascavelle, Denon, EMI, Erato, Harmonia Mundi, PentaTone and Philips and many of these recordings have been awarded major prizes.

The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande has undertaken international tours and performed in prestigious concert halls in Asia (Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing), in Europe (Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Vienna, Salzburg, Madrid, Barcelona, Brussels, Amsterdam, Budapest, Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, Milan etc.) as well as in major American cities (Boston, New York, San Francisco, Washington, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Montevideo etc.). During the 2010/2011 season the OSR will perform in Montreux, Lucerne, Lyon, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Amsterdam.

The orchestra has also performed at various festivals, for instance, since 2000 the Budapest Spring Festival, the Chorégies d’Orange, the Festival de Musica de Canarias, the Lucerne Festival At Easter, the Festival of Radio France and of Montpellier, the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, the Robeco Zomerconcerten, at the Septembre Musical Festival in Montreux, at the Bucharest Festival.

The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande is supported by the canton and the city of Geneva, by Radio-Télévision Suisse Romande, friends associations as well as by several sponsors and donors. For the concerts performed in Lausanne the orchestra also benefits from support by the canton de Vaud.