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The Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1985 as a merger of the Promenade Orchestra and the Radio Orchestra (Omroep Orkest). Within a short time it attained a high artistic standard, one of its great strengths being its versatility. As well as performing the main orchestral repertoire, it also specialises in lesser-known works. The orchestra has taken part in various operatic productions and in special musical projects as well as international competitions. It is the regular accompanying orchestra of the Kyrill Kondrashin Conductors' Masterclasses, the Oscar Back Concours, and the International Vocalists' Competition. The orchestra has appeared at the Holland Festival, the Gaudeamus Week, and in several educational projects. Since 1996 the Estonian-born Eri Klas has been Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. Guest conductors have included Jiri Kout, Janos Fürst, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Jaap van Zweden, and Alexander Lazarev. Within the large repertoire of the orchestra, a main focus is French music, in which the orchestra's wide spectrum of tone-colours and subtle nuances of ensemble playing are shown to great advantage. Specialist conductors in this repertoire have included Marc Soustrot, Armin Jordan, and Jean-Bernard Pommier. In the field of opera the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra has appeared in an impressive number of productions, including Rachmaninov's Aleko, Korngold's Die tote Stadt, and several operas of Donizetti. It has also played in the Dutch première of Tri Sestri ('Three Sisters') by Peter Eotvos, a co-production with the Netherlands Touring Opera Company. Artists of national and international importance have appeared with the orchestra, including Isabelle van Keulen, Pieter Wispelwey, Montserrat Caballe, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sumi Jo, Jean Jacques Kantarov, and Maxim Vengerov.

October 2002

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