7 Top Symphony Orchestras of the World that Perform with Gracefulness

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Our selection of the greatest Symphony Orchestras Worldwide

Known for their elegant and beautiful performances, the most outstanding Symphony Orchestras have the power to leave us speechless with such beautiful work. All over the world and with excellent musicians, the symphonies are all so amazing! 

What is the greatest Orchestra in the world you would like to know or watch? Today we’ve brought together some of the top Orchestras worldwide that we would love to see live.


Vienna Philharmonic

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, established in 1842, does not have a designated chief conductor. Instead, its players each take turns conducting. The Orchestra has been accused of being extremely conservative—it did not allow a female member to join until 1997. Today, it is more balanced concerning gender and plays with the polish and sheen that have characterized its performance for many years. 

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra employs an uncommon tuning, and its members play instruments such as the clarinet made by the Öhler system, a special “Vienna” oboe, and the “Vienna” horn. The Orchestra performs its world-famous New Year’s Day concerts each year for millions of people around the world.

The Vienna Philharmonic has a unique relationship with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Only members of the opera orchestra may join the Philharmonic, per the association’s bylaws.

To become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic, one must first successfully audition for a position with the State Opera Orchestra and prove oneself capable over the years before becoming eligible to apply for membership in the association.

Royal Concertgebouw

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which was founded in 1888 and is based in Amsterdam, came of age under the baton of Bernard Haitink, who was its music director for 25 years. Haitink’s tenure wasn’t without controversy, however; in the face of cuts in government funding, he threatened to resign.

They are world-renowned for their performances of the music of Mahler and Bruckner and also uphold a number of concert traditions around Easter and Christmas. On Easter Sunday, it presents a Passion performance, and on Christmas morning, a Christmas Matinee.

Mengelberg’s habit of performing Bach’s St Matthew Passion annually from 1895 to 1945 helped establish the Dutch Passion tradition.


São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra

São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, organized in 1954 by José Antônio Abreu, has gained global popularity and become a major force in the cultural life of the city as well as Brazil, with its home in the incredible Sala São Paulo constructed from an old railway station. The Orchestra regularly tours all over the world and, in 2012, became the first Brazilian Orchestra ever to perform at the BBC Proms under its Music Director, Marin Alsop.

On December 12, they performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, along with two other pieces, accompanied by choral and orchestral musicians from the São Paulo State Youth Choir and OSESP Choirs in a concert at Sala São Paulo. The performance was streamed live as part of an online broadcast that reached 220,000 people worldwide. On December 8, approximately 400 singers performed the last movement of the Ninth Symphony in a new Brazilian translation during an open reading.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the most prolific orchestras in the world. It performs over 150 concerts each year, with music ranging from baroque to contemporary. Its talented musicians are responsible for the famous sound heard on best-selling recordings and in performances in Chicago and on tour throughout the United States and around the globe.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra first performed at Ravinia Park in 1905, and it frequently played there until August 1931, when the park abruptly shut down due to the Great Depression. In 1936, the Orchestra helped inaugurate the first season of the Ravinia Festival, and it has been in residence nearly every summer since.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a gleaming brass sound that is justly famous for. Some people complain about the Orchestra’s failure to balance that incredible brilliance, but I believe it’s an orchestra that responds to what you ask it to do. When Solti was conducting, he encouraged that brilliant sound, whereas when I heard the Chicago Symphony under Barenboim, they sounded like a fantastically rich and deep European Orchestra.

London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra is a brilliant orchestra that can perform any genre of music. Its radiant sound and versatility have made it the go-to Orchestra for film soundtracks, recording many of John Williams’s famous scores for the silver screen.

The players also benefit from great management, as well as people who share a curiosity about new things and don’t shy away from new challenges. And since the players are involved in many decisions, they work with people who share their philosophy. The members love to make things, and their range is as wide as their enthusiasm. Everyone seems to be there because they want to be – never any sense of being exploited by the system.


Budapest Festival Orchestra

The BFO has come a long way in a short time. Its players share a devotion to their art that is inspiring. 

The Orchestra regularly performs at the most prestigious concert halls in the international music scene, including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Royal Albert Hall and Barbican Centre in London. They have been invited to perform at several international festivals, including the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City and the Edinburgh International Festival.

The BFO has won two Gramophone Awards and was nominated for a Grammy in 2013. In 2014 it won the Diapason d’Or and the Italian Toblacher Komponierhäuschen prize for its recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.


Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is a crack broadcasting ensemble based in Munich and has emerged in recent decades to challenge the world’s best. 

Conductor Mariss Jansons has been steadily elevating the Münchner Philharmoniker’s profile since taking over as music director in 2004. The Orchestra’s performances and recordings on the recently launched BR-Klassik label are meticulously rendered, with great attention paid to every detail.

From 1949 to 1960, Eugen Jochum led the Orchestra. He built it up with top-grade musicians and established its worldwide reputation during its first foreign tours. Munich audiences have him to thank for incomparable interpretations of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies, of which he is best known. Besides Bruckner, Jochum devoted special attention to the performance of sacred music and also made regular appearances on the podium of Musicaviva.

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