Cornelius Meister took over as Principal Conductor in autumn 2010. The Late Romantics and contemporary works, together with rarely performed or unjustly forgotten works form the orchestra’s main repertoire. Providing the ORF with material is a key objective of the Radio Symphony Orchestra, especially Österreich 1, the cultural radio programme. In addition, the orchestra is internationally represented in top-quality foreign radio stations.
The ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra has its regular place in the Vienna concert season, with subscriptions both in the Wiener Musikverein and in the Wiener Konzerthaus halls. It also performs regularly at major festivals at home and abroad; here it must suffice to mention close ties with the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna Festival, Wien Modern as well as the musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst. Since 2007, the RSO has also established itself as an opera orchestra through regular performances at the Theater an der Wien. Yet, the RSO is entirely at home in the film music genre. Every year, the RSO is conducted by worldrenowned, award winning film music composers at the film music gala »Hollywood in Vienna«. In 2012, the RSO recorded the soundtrack to the film »Die Vermessung der Welt – Measuring the World«, in 2016 the RSO was involved in the highly acclaimed films »Kater« by Händl Klaus and »die geträumten« by Ruth Beckermann.
Extensive touring activities have taken the RSO Vienna to Japan, China, recently also to Thailand and Taiwan, as well as to the USA, to South America, and all over Europe.
Leonard Bernstein, Ernest Bour, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Gielen, Andris Nelsons, Kirill Petrenko, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Hans Swarowsky, Ingo Metzmacher and Simone Young have all conducted the RSO Vienna; amongst others, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bruno Maderna, Hans Werner Henze, Ernst Krenek, Luciano Berio, Friedrich Cerha, Kurt Schwertsik, Beat Furrer, Johannes Kalitzke, Emilio Pomarico and Matthias Pintscher have collaborated with the orchestra as conductors and composers. International soloists performing regularly with the RSO Vienna include Elisabeth Leonskaja, Sabine Mayer, Pascal Rogé, Heinz Holliger, Gautier Capuçon, Martin Grubinger, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Hilary Hahn, Gabriela Montero, Anna Netrebko and Christian Tetzlaff.
The RSO Vienna’s considerable recording repertoire for the ORF and for CD publication covers a wide range of works: several first recordings of works from the Classic Austrian Modern repertoire, as well as contemporary Austrian works. Mention must be made of the CD series »New Austrian Music«, which comprises orchestral works by Friedrich Cerha, amongst others; further landmark recordings include Egon Wellesz' nine symphonies, the orchestral music of Josef Matthias Hauer as well as first recordings of music by Erich Zeisl. Recently, the compilations »my RSO« and »my RSO – a musical journey through Europe« (with works from 12 European countries) were released, as well as highly praised recordings of works by Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss and Béla Bartók.
The RSO Vienna has established a major youth programme; this includes special workshops for children and young people, together with the continuation of the series »Mitten in my RSO«, »my RSO Musiklabor« and »Klassische Verführung«. In 1997 the orchestra founded its own Orchestral Academy which aims at encouraging and training future professionals. The RSO Vienna performs regularly at the annual final concerts for the Conducting Classes of the Vienna Music University.
The ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra emerged from the erstwhile Austrian Radio Orchestra in 1969; it has since made its mark as one of Austria’s most versatile orchestras. Under its Principal Conductors, Milan Horvat, Leif Segerstam, Lothar Zagrosek, Pinchas Steinberg, Dennis Russell Davies and Bertrand de Billy it has steadily extended its repertoire from pre-classical to the avant-garde.