was established in 1949. Two internationally reputed personalities, Václav Talich (Principal Conductor, 1949 – 1952) and Ľudovít Rajter (1949 – 1976, and the orchestra’s Artistic Director until 1961), stood at the orchestra’s birth. Other chief conductors who have played an important role in the orchestra’s musical evolution include Tibor Frešo, Ladislav Slovák, Libor Pešek, Vladimir Verbitsky, Bystrík Režucha, Aldo Ceccato, Ondrej Lenárd, Jiří Bělohlávek, Vladimír Válek, Peter Feranec, Emmanuel Villaume, James Judd. Leoš Svárovský, Rastislav Štúr and Petr Altrichter have been Permanent Guest Conductors of the Slovak Philharmonic. In the 2020/2021 season, Daniel Raiskin took up the position of Chief Conductor.
Among the many guest conductors who have worked with the Slovak Philharmonic over the years, international personalities like J. Ferencsik, W. Rowicki, V. Smetáček, K. Ančerl, F. Konwitschny, A. Jansons, V. Neumann, H. Abendroth, A. Pedrotti, Sir E. Goossens, Sir M. Sargent, R. Benzi, K. Masur, Sir Ch. Mackerras, C. Zecchi, S. Baudo, C. Abbado, K. Sanderling, Z. Košler (who, thanks to his longstanding fruitful collaboration with the orchestra, was awarded the honorary title of ‘Chief Conductor in memoriam’ in 1996), R. Muti, K. Richter, K. Kondrashin, L. Segerstam, A. Lombard, S. Celibidache, T. Sanderling, O. Danon, M. Rossi, N. Järvi, K. Kobayashi, E. Svetlanov, M. Jansons, Ch. von Dohnányi, D. Kitayenko, O. Suitner, J. Conlon, V. Gergiev, A. Rahbari, F. Luisi, Sir Y. Menuhin, P. Schreier, V. Fedoseyev, R. Weikert, M. Caridis, P. Steinberg, P. Keuschnig, T. Hanus, J. Hrůša, J. Valčuha, T. Netopil, I. Marin, P. Baleff, G. Pehlivanian, J. Märkl, I. Volkov, W. Marshall, E. G. Jensen, A. Buribayev must be mentioned, as well as composers and performers of own works like J. Martinon, K. Penderecki and A. Khachaturian.
The orchestra has made numerous recordings for radio, television and the music publishers OPUS, Supraphon, Panton, Hungaroton, JVC Victor, RCA, Pacific Music, Naxos and Marco Polo. The Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra regularly gives guest performances on leading European stages and at festivals, as well as in Cyprus, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, the USA and Oman.
During the 2021/2022 season, apart from concerts at home, the Slovak Philharmonic will also perform in Vienna, Wiesbaden, Villach, Köln, Litomyšl and together with the Slovak Philharmonic Choir, in Neuberg an der Mürz in Austria. The planned SPh concert tour to South Korea and Japan, which should have taken place this season, has been moved to 2022 and 2023 as a result of the overall situation in the world.