Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra has gradually grown from the first radio orchestra established in 1929, only three years after Radio Zagreb (as it was then called) started broadcasting. In 1957 it was renamed Zagreb Radio Television Symphony Orchestra. From 1975 to 1990 the orchestra was called RTZ Zagreb Symphonics, and in 1991 assumed its current name. The Orchestra has been led by numerous distinguished conductors: Pavle Dešpalj, Krešimir Šipuš, Josef Daniel, Oskar Danon, Milan Horvat, Uroš Lajovic, Vladimir Kranjčević and Nikša Bareza. The many conductors and soloists that the ensemble has collaborated with also include Lovro von Matačić, Igor Markevič, Franz Konwitschny, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Ernst Bour, Stjepan Šulek, Arnold Katz, Krzysztof Penderecki, Antonio Janigro, André Navarra, Leonid Kogan, Henryk Szeryng, Aldo Ciccolini, Ruža Pospiš-Baldani, Dunja Vejzović, Dubravka Tomšič-Srebotnjak, Rudolf Klepač, Ivo Pogorelić, Mstislav Rostropovič, Maksim Fedotov, Edita Gruberova, José Carreras, Ruggero Raimondi, Barbara Hendricks, Luciano Pavarotti and others.
Apart from regular concerts in Zagreb and the obligation of participation in radio and television programs, the Orchestra also performs around the country and abroad. Those appearances have been received with general acclaim and have made the Orchestra a true promoter of Croatian culture in the world. During the Homeland War, the musicians of the Croatian Radio Television Symphony Orchestra frequently visited the frontline and held dozens of concerts in Osijek, Pakrac, Lipik, Đakovo, Gospić, Vinkovci and Bošnjaci, as well as in Šibenik, Zadar, Karlovac, even Sarajevo. Their repertoire includes classical and contemporary pieces performed in concerts and recorded for Croatian Radio and Television and record labels, but most significantly, the Orchestra pays special attention to Croatian musical heritage and Croatian contemporary composers. In the discographic oeuvre, there is a special place for the albums by Croatian composers Stjepan Šulek, Milko Kelemen and Miro Belamarić, a series of CDs dedicated to chief conductors of the Orchestra, an Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss, an album with the works of Italian composer Gino Marinuzzi Senior, and the Donizetti Heroines CD recorded with Elena Moşuc, Croatian Radiotelevision Choir and Maestro Ivo Lipanović, which was published in 2013 by Sony Classical. The same year saw the release of the quintuple album Stjepan Šulek (1914 – 1986): 8 Symphonies, published in cooperation of Croatian Radiotelevision, Cantus and Croatian Composers’ Society; the album won the Porin award in two categories: the best archive/thematic-historical album of classical music, and the best performance of classical music (Šulek’s Seventh Symphony under the direction of Maestro Pavle Dešpalj). The orchestra celebrated its eightieth anniversary in the 2010-2011 season. For that occasion, a monograph about the orchestra’s work was published, along with a double album including the recordings of the it’s chief conductors: Milan Horvat, Krešimir Šipuš, Josef Daniel, Pavle Dešpalj, Vladimir Kranjčević, Oskar Danon, Uroš Lajovic and Nikša Bareza.
The Orchestra had received the award Judita at the 59th Split Summer Festival (2013.).