The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (SOSR) was established in 1929 as the orchestra of the Bratislava-based branch of the Radiojournal radio institution, being the first professional symphony orchestra in Slovakia. The Czech conductor František Dyk was then appointed to be the first chief conductor of the Orchestra. The beginnings of SOSR are connected with the intense activity of Alexander Moyzes, the head of radio music broadcasting at that time, who contributed to the gradual improvement and enlargement of the Orchestra. Over the years the Orchestra was led by Kornel Schimpl, František Babušek, Krešimir Baranović, Ľudovít Rajter, Richard Týnský, Ladislav Slovák, Václav Jiráček, Bystrík Režucha, Otakar Trhlík, Ondrej Lenárd, Róbert Stankovský, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Oliver Dohnányi, Mario Košik and Peter Valentovič. Ondrej Lenárd was reappointed chief conductor of the Orchestra in the 2019/2020 season.
SOSR being the first professional symphony ensemble in Slovakia has a history of almost ninety years of remarkable activities. Until nowadays it has recorded countless recordings not only for the needs of radio broadcasting, but also for publishers such as Opus, Supraphon, Naxos, Marco Polo, Arte Nova and others. The Orchestra ranks with its discography among orchestras with the biggest number of published audio media worldwide. Moreover, the Orchestra regularly engages in recording music for Slovak and also foreign movies.
The most renowned artists that performed with SOSR as guest conductors were among others Charles Mackerras, Neeme Järvi, Kirk Trevor, Alain Pâris, Friedrich Haider, Andrew Mogrelia, David Porcelijn, Alexander Rahbari, Vladimir Spivakov, Petr Altrichter, Vladimír Válek, Yordan Kamdzhalov; as well as vocal and instrumental soloists including Anna Netrebko, Yusif Eyvazov, Boris Berezovskij, Edita Gruberová, José Carreras, Peter Dvorský, Adriana Kučerová, Štefan Kocán, Pavol Bršlík, Emmanuel Pahud, Daniel Ottensamer, Jiří Bárta, Dalibor Karvay, Milan Paľa, Juraj Bartoš and many others. International stars of light-music genre such as Ray Charles, Liza Minnelli or Shirley Bassey did also perform with SOSR as soloists.
The Orchestra regularly performs at music festivals in Slovakia such as the Bratislava Music Festival, New Slovak Music Festival, Melos-Étos, Allegretto Žilina, music festival Piešťany or Radio_Head Awards Festival. SOSR is also welcome at concert stages abroad and repeatedly appeared as a guest for instance in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Japan, France, Hong Kong, South Korea and the United Kingdom. It performed several times at the prestigious Viennese Musikverein, in the Philharmonie in Essen, Munich, Cologne, Klagenfurt and others. In the 2016 and 2017 season SOSR was residential ensemble of the St. Margarethen Opera Festival in Austria. Among important activities of SOSR was the premiere recording of the opera by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: The Jewels of the Madonna (I gioielli della Madonna). An extraordinary activity was also the recording of a complete set of symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich and Alexander Moyzes for the NAXOS publishing house, as well as recording over 100 albums with works of current American composers and performers. The artistic skills of SOSR can be heard regularly in the broadcasting of many radio channels worldwide and its music recordings for movies were also part of Oscar winning productions.
The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra with its musicians and chief conductors specialize in interpreting the repertory of classicism and romanticism, but also in musical works of the 20th and 21st century. SOSR regularly cooperates with Slovak publishers in recording and presentation of works by Slovak composers and strongly supports Slovak music performers. Each concert of the season presents also works by Slovak composers, whereby many of them are premièred.