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 Berliner Philharmoniker and made his debut with the orchestra at the 1996 Berlin Festival.
He is the new Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris, and continues his roles as Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. He was recently honoured with the lifetime title of Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. His previous positions include Principal Conductor and Music Director of the MCO (2003-2011), Principal Conductor of the Trondheim Symphony (1997-2000), Principal Guest Conductor of Sweden's Norrköping Symphony (1997-2003), Music Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (1997-2003), Music Partner of the New Japan Philharmonic and Artistic Director of the Ohga Hall in Karuizawa, Japan.
He is a regular visitor to the Vienna Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden (orchestras of which he has conducted at the Salzburg Festival), Royal Concertgebouw, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bavarian Radio, Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala. Other guest conducting engagements have included Münchner Philharmoniker, Orchestre National de Lyon, Oslo Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Orchestras and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées. Among the American orchestras with whom he has performed are the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony 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 I 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 with the Wiener Philharmoniker, The Turn of the Screw and Wozzeck at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Die Zauberflöte at the Wiener Festwochen and Wozzeck at the Theater an der Wien. In the 2012/2013 season he returned to La Scala for Falstaff and made his debuts at both the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin and at the Wiener Staatsoper with Der fliegende Holländer. Closely associated with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, he has conducted new productions of Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, The Turn of the Screw, La Traviata, Eugene Onegin and Le nozze di Figaro and returns in 2017 for The Rake's Progress.
His recent recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Mahler's Symphony No. 10 with the Wiener Philharmoniker, and Orff's Carmina Burana with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks have both won widespread critical acclaim. For Virgin/EMI he has recorded Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Brahms' Symphony Nos. 3 & 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'Année 1998").
In 2002, he was awarded the title Chevalier 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.