The Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai was established in 1994 by Georges Prêtre and Giuseppe Sinopoli, uniting the legacies of the radio orchestras of Turin, Milan, Rome and Naples and establishing Turin as the official base for its activities. In February 2004 the Orchestra founded “Rai Nuova Musica”, a season of contemporary music encompassing symphonic and chamber concerts and featuring many first performances. The Orchestra has also performed around the world, in countries such as Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Eire, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and Greece, as well as in South America and at the Festival de Música de Canarias.
Eliahu Inbal was Honorary Conductor from 1996 to 2001; during this period Jeffrey Tate joined the orchestra as First Guest Conductor, from 1998 to 2002. Both were awarded, in 1997 and 1998 respectively, the Abbiati Prize, Italy’s most important critics’ award. In September 2001, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos became Principal Director; in September 2002 Jeffrey Tate took over as Honorary Conductor, and in September 2003 Gianandrea Noseda joined as First Guest Conductor. Among the most significant appearances of the last seasons, were those of Carlo Maria Giu-lini, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Mstislav Rostropovich, Myung-Whun Chung, Riccardo Chailly, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Yuri Ahronovitch, Dmitri Kitaenko, Alexander Lazarev, Valery Gergiev, Lawrence Forster and Gerd Albrecht.