One of Denmark's finest regional orchestras, this 73-member ensemble was officially established in 1946, but it can trace its origin back to 1800. In 1982, the orchestra gained a permanent residence in the Odense Concert Hall constructed in the oldest area of the city. The orchestra's quite active schedule includes a subscription concert season, matinees, school concerts, opera, and theater performances. The orchestra's extensive touring work has included ten trips to Spain, the Russia, Germany, Holland, Austria, Greece, and Sweden. The orchestra also supports the annual international Carl Nielsen Music Competition. The orchestra's special recording projects have included the complete symphonies of Nielsen and Ib Nørholm; Rimsky-Korsakov's opera suites; and music by contemporary composers H.C. Lumbye, Erik Jørgensen, Poul Ruders, Poul Schierbeck, and Paul von Klenau.
Principal guest conductor Simon Gaudenz started a three-year term during the 2010-2011 season and chief conductor Alexander Vedernikov was appointed in 2009. The group was nominated for a Danish Grammy in 2007 for a recording of von Klenau's Die Liebe und Tod des Cornetts Christoph Rilke.