The Norrköping Symphony Orchestra (in Swedish: Norrköpings Symfonieorchester) is one of the leaders among Sweden's crop of regional orchestras.
It has spawned the careers of several conductors who went on to international renown. Located in the old industrial city of Norrköping in southwestern Sweden, the orchestra was founded in 1912 and offered well-advertised concerts from the start. As of 2018, with 86 musicians, the orchestra plays a major role in the city's musical life with its 50 indoor concerts a year at the Louis de Geer Concert Hall in Norrköping, plus a schedule of summer concerts outdoors (including one performance on a barge). They collaborate regularly with musicians in the jazz, folk, and rock fields, and their tours take them not only to nearby Linköping and to Stockholm, but to Austria, Eastern Europe, Japan, and China. The Norrköping Symphony's roster of former music directors includes Herbert Blomstedt (1954-1962, later conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra), Finland's Okko Kamu (1972-1979, later conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and other groups), and future Cleveland Orchestra music director Franz Welser-Möst (1986-1991). Michael Francis' tenure concluded in 2016, and in the late 2010s the orchestra invited top international figures as guest conductors. Christian Lindberg, a frequent conductor during this period, has led the orchestra in the latest installments of an ongoing cycle of the symphonies of Swedish composer Allan Pettersson; the cycle began in 1992 and has appeared on the BIS label. The orchestra's large catalog of other recordings, mostly on BIS, has focused on Swedish music but has also encompassed works by Beethoven, Max Reger, and (on the CPO label in 2017) the Austrian composer Siegmund von Hausegger. Another innovative Norrköping Symphony Orchestra project during this period was Chelsea Hotel, featuring orchestral arrangements of compositions by the folk and folk-rock songwriters who stayed in New York's Chelsea Hotel in the '60s including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen.