Daniel  - profile

Daniel Harding


Daniel Harding has played an integral role in the history and development of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra since the very beginning.

Since 1998, he has held different titles with the orchestra, shaping the MCO’s sound through intensive work on repertoire ranging from opera and symphonic compositions to world premieres. Under the leadership of Daniel Harding, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra has traveled to 21 countries on 3 continents.

From 1998 to 2003, Daniel Harding was the MCO’s Principal Guest Conductor. During this time, he led the MCO in extended residencies at the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence. Some of the most important opera productions staged during this time include Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. In 2003, Daniel Harding became the MCO’s Music Director. In the next four years, he would play a formative role in shaping the orchestra’s interpretation of core repertoire, especially the works of Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. He also began to explore pieces from the Second Viennese School together with the MCO. In 2007, Daniel Harding assumed the position of Principal Conductor. Some notable projects undertaken during this period include a three-week residency at the Wiener Festwochen with Berg’s Wozzeck and recordings with esteemed artists such as Janine Jansen and Isabelle Faust. Since 2011, Daniel Harding has been Conductor Laureate of the MCO.

At the Lucerne Festival, where the Mahler Chamber Orchestra appears as the core of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and can be heard in its own concert every year, some of the most memorable MCO concerts – featuring world premieres and performances of oratorios – were led by Daniel Harding. Some of these highlights include: the world premieres of Matthias Pintscher’s Transir for Flute and Chamber Orchestra with Emmanuel Pahud (2006) and Wolfgang Rihm’s Horn Concerto with Stefan Dohr (2014), as well as performances of Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (2009), Mendelssohn’s Elias (2010) and Schubert’s Mass no. 6 (2012).

In March 2019, Daniel Harding and the MCO embarked on an extensive tour that brought them to Adelaide, where the MCO was orchestra in residence at the Adelaide Festival; to Tokyo; and to Shanghai. Since, the MCO and Daniel Harding have enjoyed regular collaborations with a wide span of repertoire and concert halls. In the season of 2023/2024, they will tour a number of prestigious summer festivals together with start pianist Daniil Trifonov.


Daniel Harding is the Music and Artistic Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He was Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris from 2016 – 2019 and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 2007 – 2017. He is honoured with the lifetime title of Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has worked for over 20 years. In 2020, he was named Conductor in Residence of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.

He is a regular visitor to the world’s foremost orchestras, including the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala. In 2005 he opened the season at La Scala, Milan, conducting a new production of Idomeneo. He later returned to conduct Salome, Il Prigioniero, Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci (for which he was awarded the prestigious Premio della Critica Musicale ‘Franco Abbiati’), Falstaff and Le nozze di Figaro. He has conducted Ariadne auf Naxos, Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival with the Wiener Philharmoniker; The Turn of the Screw and Wozzeck at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Der fliegende Holländer at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Die Zauberflöte at the Wiener Festwochen, Pelléas et Mélisande at the Wiener Staatsoper and Wozzeck at the Theater an der Wien. Closely associated with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, he has conducted new productions of Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, The Turn of the Screw, La Traviata, Eugene Onegin and Le nozze di Figaro.

His recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Mahler Symphony No. 10 with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Orff’s Carmina Burana the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks both received widespread critical acclaim. For Virgin/EMI he has recorded Mahler Symphony No. 4 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Brahms’ Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Billy Budd with the London Symphony Orchestra (winner of a Grammy Award for best opera recording), Don Giovanni and The Turn of the Screw (awarded the “Choc de l'Année 2002”, the “Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros” and a Gramophone award) with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; works by Lutosławski with Solveig Kringelborn and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and works by Britten with Ian Bostridge and the Britten Sinfonia (awarded the "Choc de L'Annee 1998”). For BR Klassik he has released critically acclaimed recordings of Schumann Szenen aus Goethes Faust and Mahler Symphony No. 6. His performances of Mahler Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven Violin Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmerman are available on the Berliner Philharmoniker label. A regular collaborator with Harmonia Mundi, his latest recordings with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra include ‘The Wagner Project’ with Matthias Goerne; Mahler Symphonies no. 5 & 9, Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem and a newly released Britten disc.

Daniel takes up the post of Music Director of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome alongside his recent appointment as Music Director of Youth Music Culture the Greater Bay Area, as well as his role as Music and Artistic Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, a position he will relinquish in 2025 after nineteen seasons.

In 2002 Daniel was awarded the title Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government and in 2017 nominated to the position Officier des Arts et Lettres. In 2012, he was elected a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2021, he was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours. He is a qualified airline pilot.