|The first major instumental group, which performed classical music «live» every day on the Niš Radio, was formed in 1952 under the name of Symphony Orchestra of the National Radio Niš. By performing the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn and Petar Stojanović, at the concert held on 16 March, 1953, the history of the Niš Symphony Orchestra began, and had its first performance as the City Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Stojan Andrić.
By merging Radio Niš and Radio Belgrade, the orchestra integrated with the National Theatre, and together with the choir it represents the backbone of the music department of the theatre. A conductor and composer, Ilija Marinković, PhD, was appointed to be the Head of the Music Department. Through systematic work on the development of symphonic and stage music, through intensive preparations and rehearsals, together with the choir and the soloists, Ilija Marinković, PhD, performed the opera La Traviata for the first time at the concert in Niš on June 30, 1954.
The ambitions of the artists very quickly open up prospects for new musical challenges so the orchestra established the first international cooperation in 1954 with a visit of a Greek pianist Vassο Devetzi. As an independent music organisation, the orchestra has been performing since 1960, under the baton of a conductor and university professor Lambra Dimitrijević from Belgrade, who was succeeded by Nikolai Bojadziev. Until the arrival of the permanent conductor Yuri Ferik in 1969, the orchestra was led by the director and conductor of the Skopje Philharmonic, Vanco Cavdarski, whose pedagogical work, knowledge of pshychology of a musician and his expertise will greatly enhance the quality of the orchestra.
Ten-year directorship of Yuri Ferek marks the period of visits of eminent artists from abroad (Emin Khachaturian from the USSR and other artists from Romania and Poland) as well as the first orchestra performances in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica and in 1973 a cultural cooperation with the Republic of Romania was established when a contract with the Philharmonic from Craiova was signed. The Niš Orchestra performed in Craiova in 1973,1975, 1978, and our neighbours responded by performing in Niš.
With the financial help of the city governmet, The Niš Symphony Orchestra formed and organised The October Music Festival in 1975, a festival of classical music which has been transformed into a traditional music manifestation over the decades, the Niš Music Festival – NIMUS. The participants at the festival are the most prominent and most renowned names both internationally and locally. The fortieth anniversary of NIMUS was marked by a concert of one of the world’s greatest flutist of today, the Swiss Emanuel Pahud, accompanied by the Niš Symphony Orchestra and under the baton of Svilen Simeonov from Bulgaria.
At the end of 1989, the position of a permanent conductor of the orchestra was entrusted to a young and promising conductor from Belgrade, Dejan Savić. With a Ukrainian conductor from Kiev, Anatoly Nowitzki, the orchestra starts an intensive and serious cooperation. The orchestra ensures the precision and quality of music performance while the orchestra performs demanding musical pieces very successfully under the baton of Maestro Nowitzki.
Young, ambitious and full of creative enthusiasm – the director of the Nis Symphony Orchestra Milena Injac brings new energy into the orchestra in 2000, when she takes up the position of the director. Persistent work brings back the technical precision of the orchestra and the prominent positions in the orchestra are given to young musicians so that the orchestra is full of enthusiasm.
The orchestra has been working without a permanent conductor from 2006 up to now, and the duty of working with the orchestra was taken over by guest conductors. To celebrate 17 centuries of the Edict of Milan in 2013, the Niš Symphony Orchestra performed the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven in cooperation with the orchestra of the Faculty of Arts at the Summer Stage in the Fortress and they achieved a significant success; and in the same year at the gala concert entitled “60 years of Music in the City of Constantine’s” held on the 60th anniversary of the Niš Symphony Orchestra foundation and 1700 years of the Edict of Milan, the Niš Symphony Orchestra was conducted by ten most prominent conductors from Serbia and the countries around the world.
The Niš Symphony Orchestra marked 2013 by releasing their first compact disc with the performance of “ The New World Symphony” by Antonin Dvorak. Signing a contract with a Spanish producer from Madrid enabled the Niš Symphony Orchestra to give 13 concerts during a seventeen-day concert tour in Spain and Portugal, in the period from 28 December, 2014 to 13 January, 2015, performing in the most prestigious concert halls.
For its great successes in its cultural and artistic mission, the Niš Symphony Orchestra a holder of significant awards for recognition: the Gold Plaque awarded by the Cultural and Educational Community of Serbia, The Golden Badge by the Yugoslav Choir Festival, an award of the Libaration of the City of Niš in 1971 and the highest award for recognition of the City of Niš, the award “11 January” in 2013.