The Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai (OSN Rai) made its official debut in 1994 with Georges Prêtre and Giuseppe Sinopoli. Since then, Jeffrey Tate was First Guest Conductor from 1998 to 2002 and Honorary Conductor from 2002 to 2011. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos was its Principal Conductor from 2001 to 2007. Gianandrea Noseda was First Guest Conductor from 2003 to 2006. From 1996 to 2001, Eliahu Inbal was Honorary Conductor of the Orchestra.
Juraj Valčuha has been its Principal Conductor since November 2009.
Other important figures who have conducted the OSN Rai include Carlo Maria Giulini, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Mstislav Rostropovič, Myung-Whun Chung, Riccardo Chailly, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Yuri Ahronovich, Marek Janowski, Semyon Bychkov, Dmitrij Kitaenko, Aleksandr Lazarev, Valery Gergiev, Gerd Albrecht, Yutaka Sado, Mikko Franck, James Conlon, Kirill Petrenko and Roberto Abbado.
The OSN Rai performs regular seasons in
The Rai NuovaMusica project was launched in February 2004; this is a review dedicated to contemporary music, which performs new symphonic and chamber works, many of which have been commissioned specifically, making their world or Italian première.
The OSN Rai often performs symphony and chamber concerts in the major cities and the most important festivals in
The members of the Orchestra also make up a number of chamber groups of various sizes, with a busy concert schedule in
The OSN Rai has also performed at particularly important events such as the Intergovernmental Conference of the European Union held in Torino, the concert to mark the Silver Jubilee of John Paul II's Pontificate in Piazza San Pietro in Roma, the Solidarity Concert organised with the City of Torino for the reconstruction of the Guarini Chapel, many of the concerts held to mark Italian Republic Day from 1997 to the present day, and the 2000 New Year concert in Piazza del Quirinale in Roma, all of which were televised live. Another traditional appointment is the Christmas Concert in the Basilica di San Francesco in
On June 3 and 4, 2012, the OSN Rai took part in the operatic film broadcast live on Rai1 and worldwide: Cenerentola, una favola in diretta, conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti and with the direction of Carlo Verdone. On September 4 and 5, 2010, the OSN Rai took part in the operatic film Rigoletto, conducted by Zubin Mehta and with the direction of Marco Bellocchio; this event was broadcasted live on Rai1 and worldwide.
Similarly in 2000, the OSN Rai had been one of the stars of the television event
On January 27, 2001 the Orchestra inaugurated the official celebrations to mark the centenary of the death of Giuseppe Verdi, with a live concert on Rai3, performing his Messa da Requiem in the Parma Cathedral under Valery Gergiev.
All the concerts of the OSN Rai are broadcast on Rai Radio3, and many of them are recorded and televised on Rai3 and on Rai5. The Orchestra also has numerous recordings to its name, particularly of works by contemporary composers, and numerous live CDs and DVDs have been made of its concerts.