Born in Oxford, Daniel Harding began his career assisting Sir Simon Rattle at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, with which he made his professional debut in 1994. He went on to assist Claudio Abbado at the Berlin Philharmonic and made his debut with the orchestra at the 1996 Berlin Festival.
He is Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and Music Partner of the New Japan Philharmonic. He is Artistic Director of the Ohga Hall in Karuizawa, Japan and was recently honoured with the lifetime title of Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
He is a regular visitor to the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Vienna Philharmonic (both of which he has conducted at the Salzburg Festival), the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouworkest, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and many others. Among the American orchestras with whom he has performed are the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
In 2005 he opened the season at La Scala, Milan, conducting a new production of ‘Idomeneo’. He returned in 2007 for ‘Salome’, in 2008 for a double bill of ‘Bluebeard’s Castle’ and ‘Il Prigioniero’, and most recently in 2011 for ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ and ‘Pagliacci’, for which he was awarded the prestigious Premio della Critica Musicale “Franco Abbiati”. His operatic experience also includes ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’, ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ at the Salzburg Festival, ‘The Turn of the Screw’ and ‘Wozzeck’ at the Royal Opera House, and ‘Wozzeck’ at the Theater an der Wien. Closely associated with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, he has conducted new productions there of ‘Così fan tutte’ directed by Patrice Chereau, ‘Don Giovanni’ directed by Peter Brook, ‘The Turn of the Screw’ directed by Luc Bondy, ‘La Traviata’ directed by Peter Mussbach, ‘Eugene Onegin’ directed by Irina Brook and, most recently, ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ directed by Vincent Boussard. Other engagements have included ‘Die Zauberflöte’ in Vienna and ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’ at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich. Future plans include new productions at La Scala and the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin.
His recent recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Mahler's Symphony No. 10 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Previously an exclusive Virgin/EMI recording artist, his recordings include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Brahms’ Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; ‘Billy Budd’ with the London Symphony Orchestra (winner of a Grammy Award for best opera recording); ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘The Turn of the Screw’ (awarded the “Choc de l'Année 2002”, the “Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros” and a Gramophone award) both with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; works by Lutosławski with Solveig Kringelborn and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and works by Britten with Ian Bostridge and the Britten Sinfonia (awarded the "Choc de L'Annee 1998”).
In 2002 he was awarded the title Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government and in 2012 he was elected a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Music.