The Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has become one of the most successful orchestras in Scandinavia. In recent years it has achieved an outstanding artistic development, attracting an ever-growing following, both inside and outside Norway. This success is partly due to the orchestra’s move, in 2012, into its present home, Stavanger’s new, state-of-the-art concert hall.
Christian Vasquez is the orchestra’s current Chief Conductor, while Fabio Biondi is Artistic Director for Baroque and Classical music. This shared artistic leadership has been in place since 1990, testifying to the orchestra’s particular focus on authentic performance practice of earlier repertoire. Biondi’s predecessors on the post have been Frans Brüggen and Philippe Herreweghe.
The orchestra has visited several European countries, Japan and the USA, including a successful appearance in the Carnegie Hall. The SSO discography to date includes more than 40 CDs, including complete series of orchestral music by the 20th-century Norwegian composers Harald Sæverud, Geirr Tveitt, Fartein Valen and Arvid Kleven. A number of these discs have received international awards.
Since 1990, Statoil has been the principal sponsor of the orchestra, whose patron is HRH Crown Prince Haakon.