The orchestra was founded in 1912, and currently consists of 85 musicians; it also performs several times a year in the nearby city of Linköping.
Past principal conductors have included Herbert Blomstedt and Franz Welser-Möst. Since 2007, the principal conductor and artistic adviser of the orchestra is the Kazakhstani conductor Alan Buribayev, with an initial contract through 2010. Buribayev is scheduled to conclude his tenure in May 2011. Past principal guest conductors have included Leif Segerstam (1995–1997), Daniel Harding and Josep Caballé-Domenech. Stefan Solyom became the orchestra’s principal guest conductor as of the 2009-2010 season.
The orchestra has recorded for the BIS, CPO, Denon and Simax labels, including symphonies by Peterson-Berger, complete works for piano and orchestra by Beethoven, and works by John Pickard.