Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR)

official logo
Founded 1918
Concert hall Victoria Hall
Principal conductor Jonathan Nott (designate)
Website www.osr.ch

The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (OSR; literal translation, "Orchestra of French-speaking Switzerland") is a Swiss symphony orchestra, based in Geneva at the Victoria Hall. In addition to symphony concerts, the OSR performs as the opera orchestra in productions at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.

Ernest Ansermet founded the OSR in 1918, with a contingent of 48 players and a season of six months' duration. Besides Swiss musicians, the OSR players initially came from other countries, including Austria, France, Germany and Italy. Ansermet gradually increased the percentage of Swiss musicians in the orchestra, attaining 80% Swiss personnel by 1946.[1] Ansermet remained the music director of the OSR for 49 years, from 1918 to 1967.

A Swiss radio orchestra based in Lausanne was merged into the OSR in 1938. Subsequently, the OSR began to broadcast radio concerts regularly on Swiss radio.[1] The orchestra had a long-standing contract for recordings with Decca Records, dating from the tenure of Ansermet, and made over 300 recordings for Decca, starting in 1947 with Debussy's La mer.[2] The OSR premiered many works of the Swiss composers Arthur Honegger and Frank Martin. During the directorship of Armin Jordan (1985–1997), the OSR continued to make recordings on the Erato label.[3]

From 2005 to 2012, Marek Janowski was the artistic director and music director of the OSR. He conducted the OSR in recordings for the Pentatone label.[4][5] In September 2008, his initial 5-year contract had been extended to 2015,[6] but in January 2010, in a change to the September 2008 contract extension, Janowski and the OSR mutually agreed on the scheduled conclusion of his directorship of the OSR after the 2011-2012 season.[7]

Following the announcement of Janowski's scheduled 2012 departure, attempts to secure Bertrand de Billy[8] and Kazuki Yamada[9] as the OSR's next artistic leader did not come to fruition. In September 2010, the OSR named Neeme Järvi as its ninth artistic and musical director, and in parallel, Yamada as principal guest conductor, with both appointments effective as of 2012, with initial contracts of 3 years for both conductors.[10] Järvi has commercially recorded with the OSR for the Chandos label.[11] He concluded his OSR directorship after the 2014-2015 season.

Jonathan Nott first guest-conducted the OSR in October 2014. Following these concert appearances, in January 2015, the OSR named Nott its next music and artistic director, effective January 2017.[12][13][14] The OSR formalised the new contract and relationship with Nott in March 2016.[15][16]

Artistic and musical directors


  1. 1 2 Potts, Joseph E. (November 1955). "European Radio Orchestras. III". The Musical Times. 96 (1353): 584–586. JSTOR 937470.
  2. Gutman, David (November 1992). "Historic Recordings". Gramophone. 96: 206. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
  3. Richard Freed (1989-10-22). "A New Leader Carries On An Orchestra's Tradition". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  4. Geoffrey Norris (2008-01-10). "L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande: Swiss orchestra seeking a role". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  5. Ivan Hewett (2010-04-23). "Bruckner: Symphony No 5, CD review". Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  6. "L'Orchestre de la Suisse romande conforte son avenir et offre un CD à tous les Genevois". Tribune de Genève, 5 September 2009.
  7. Sylvie Bonier, "Marek Janowski quittera l'OSR en 2012". Tribune de Genève, 21 January 2010.
  8. Sylvie Bonier, "Bertrand de Billy ne viendra pas à l'OSR". Tribune de Genève. 26 January 2010.
  9. Sylvie Bonier, "Le jeune Kazuki Yamada est proposé pour diriger l'OSR". Tribune de Genève, 18 June 2010.
  10. Sylvie Bonier, "Surprise à l'OSR: Neeme Järvi sera le prochain chef". Tribune de Genève, 22 September 2010.
  11. Andrew Clements (2013-02-21). "Raff: Symphony No 2; Four Shakespeare Preludes – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  12. "Welcome to Jonathan Nott, New Music and Artistic Director of the OSR" (Press release). L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  13. Rocco Zacheo (2015-01-28). "Jonathan Nott reprend la direction musicale de l'OSR". Tribune de Genève. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  14. Rocco Zacheo (2015-01-28). "Un nouvel homme fort pour l'OSR". Tribune de Genève. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  15. Rocco Zacheo (2016-02-26). "Un document secret agite les eaux de l'OSR". Tribune de Genève. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  16. Rocco Zacheo (2016-03-10). "Jonathan Nott signe enfin avec l'OSR". Tribune de Genève. Retrieved 2016-09-26.

External links

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