The historiography on these pages is edited by the Historical Society Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
The chief conductors
The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra was founded shortly after the liberation in 1945 by conductor Albert van Raalte. He conducted the first radio broadcast on 7 October 1945 and was chief conductor until 1949. After that the orchestra was led successively by Paul van Kempen, Bernard Haitink, Willem van Otterloo, Jean Fournet, Hans Vonk, Sergiu Comissiona, Edo de Waart, Jaap van Zweden and Markus Stenz. They each made their contribution to the musical development of the RFO in their own way. In May 2018, Karina Canellakis was announced as his successor starting with season 2019-2020.
Which musicians have been part of the RFO over the years? You will find them on these pages: 1946 – 1949 – 1952/53 – 1956 – 1965 – 1977 – 1979 – 1987 – 1996 – 1999 – 2004 – 2005 – 2008 – 2014
Ever since its establishment in 1945, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra has distinguished itself from other Dutch orchestras by its broadcasting task and the special programming that results from it. This can be characterised as initiatory and supplementary. An impressive number of compositions were performed by the RFO for the first time in The Netherlands, or even world premieres. On the next page you will find an overview: Dutch premieres (and world premieres) by the RFO.
The orchestra can also boast of numerous performances of complete operas, both scenic and concertante. Here is a list of them as well: Performances of complete operas by the RFO.
The sound carriers
Because of its enormous oeuvre and extraordinary merit for Dutch music, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra was awarded the Edison Classical Oeuvre Prize in 2014. A list of records, CDs and DVDs of the RFO can be found in this discography of the RFO.
The RFO from year to year
Finally, you can follow the most important events on the pages below.
It is a work in progress: the missing years will follow as soon as possible.
1991: Completion of the concertante Ring, unrest about McKinsey report, Gergiev conducts the Leningrad Symphony
1992: A 'Ring Tour' through Germany, actions against downsizing, start of own concert series
1993: Reorganisation and reorganisation, Rob Overman becomes manager, a new personnel magazine
1994: Debut in Stopera with Salome, Jaap van Zweden as soloist, 3rd Kirill Kondrashin Competition
1995: Ives series in the Matinee, Gurrelieder, Mahler CD box, das Frühlingsopfer, golden jubilee
1996: Success with Werther, opening MCO, jubilee tour, opening Amsterdam ArenA
1997: Beautifully played, founding of the Historical Society RFO, presentation of the Wagner cd-box
1998: Debut of Jaap van Zweden with RFO, 4th Kirill Kondrashin Competition, Rosu new manager
1999: Carmen, reunion of former orchestra members, Bernard Haitink back with RFO, Wie ein Naturlaut
2000: St. François d'Assise, Edo de Waart knighted, Jean Fournet half a century with RFO
2001: Boris Godunov, concertmaster leaves, RFO in Edinburgh Festival, tour with Mahler III
2002: Markus Stenz makes his debut at RFO, Makropoulos case, John Adams conducts El Niño
2003: Commemoration 9-11, heavy clouds above Hilversum, Jaap van Zweden new chief conductor
2004: Ben Janssen leaves, Gergiev conducts protest song, Vonk dies, farewell to Edo de Waart
2005: 25 years of Queen Beatrix, last concert for over-five-year-olds, staff magazine is discontinued
2006: New MCO management, a statue for Hans Vonk, gunpowder vapours in Concertgebouw
2007: Premiere of Legend, last concert in Muziekcentrum Vredenburg, concerts in Birmingham
2008: Success with Lohengrin, Royal Academy Award for Stravinsky CD, Jean Fournet dies
2009: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, first RFO performance outside Europe, Guillaume Tell
2010: Tour through Western Europe, dismay about 'abolition' of the MCO, John Adams conducts City Noir
2011: Music against the dismantling of culture by the cabinet, debut in BBC Proms, Jaap van Zweden takes his leave
2012: An Edison for Parsifal, Hartmann's universe, a painful process of reorganisation
2013: Jurowski conducts FrOSch, farewell to 24 RFO musicians, a rebuilt RFO in a new foundation
2014: Opening of TivoliVredenburg, Bernard Haitink's jubilee, Pieces of Tomorrow, Edison Classical Awards