The Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra is one of the most important cultural organizations in Greece and the oldest and most important symphonic ensemble in Northern Greece. The TSSO was founded in 1959, by the Greek-Cypriot composer Solon Michaelides. Currently, its artistic personnel consists of 118 musicians.
As a public sector organization, TSSO serves to create music of the highest quality, while ensuring its accessibility to all citizens through a range of activities, such as collaborations with highly acclaimed Greek and international artists, the dissemination of Greek musical works, the fostering of talented young Greek artists, as well as a variety of educational and social projects.
When it comes to international discographic prowess, TSSO is the most notable symphonic ensemble in the country, as it records on a regular basis under world famous recording labels, such as EMI, BIS, and NAXOS. TSSO´s recordings have gained recognition through various international prizes and laudatory reviews, pronouncing the orchestra an ambassador of Greek culture and Greek musical heritage abroad.
International musical visits of TSSO abroad include successful concerts in Berlin, Munich, Peking, Prague, Valencia, Florence, Pistoia, Marseille, Strasbourg, Clermont-Ferrand, and Cyprus, while the list of international artists that have collaborated with the Orchestra features names such as L. Pavarotti, P. Domingo, J. Carreras, A. Khatchaturian, M. Rostropovich, V. Ashkenazy, M. Shostakovich, A. Ciccolini, I. Pogorelich, L. Kogan, S. Accardo, G. Shaham, P. Badura-Skoda, N. Gutman, M. Maisky, M. Nyman, I. Gillan, J. Anderson, M. Alvarez, P. Gallois, Ο. Dimitriades, L. Kavakos, C. Katsaris, E. Karaindrou e.a.
Following TSSO’s founder and first Director, Solon Michaelides, a succession of eminent greek musicians have served as Directors: Giorgos Thymis, Alkis Baltas, Karolos Trikolidis, Kosmas Galileas, Konstantinos Patsalides, Leonidas Kavakos, Mikis Michaelides, Myron Michailidis, Alexandre Myrat, Giorgos Vranos, and Zoi Tsokanou. TSSO’s current Director is Simos Papanas