For many years, Paavo Berglund conducted the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in his native Finland. From 1987 to 1991, he was chief conductor of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 1993 to 1996 he held the same position with the Royal Orchestra in Copenhagen. In England, where he was chief conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 1972 until 1979, he has also worked closely with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore, he has toured Europe with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
He has conducted many major European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the RSO Berlin, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France. He is regularly invited to guest-conduct the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.