BBC Symphony Orchestra announces new Chief Conductor
The BBC Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo as its Chief Conductor Designate. His first performance as Chief Conductor of the Orchestra will be at the 2013 BBC Proms, followed by four concerts in the 2013/14 Barbican season. The announcement follows Oramo’s acclaimed concert with the BBC SO in October, which launched the orchestra’s season long exploration of Sibelius’ symphonies. Surprisingly, the concert marked Oramo’s debut with a London orchestra. The programme combined his Finnish heritage and passion for British music, developed over his tenure as Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1998 - 2008). In 2008 Oramo was awarded the Elgar Medal recognising his dedication to the music of Elgar and reflecting his wider interest in British music, repertoire for which the BBC SO is world renowned.
Represented worldwide by HarrisonParrott, Oramo is also Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Co-Founder and Principal Conductor of West Coast Kokkola Opera, and Chief Conductor Designate of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. Oramo’s Finnish roots and Scandinavian appointments complement the BBC SO’s strong history of performing works from the region, including UK premieres by Saariaho, Rautavaara and Aho this season. Oramo is equally committed to new music and has given first performances of works by Saariaho, Lindberg, Peter Eötvös, Anderson, Fagerlund and Martinsson amongst others.
Sakari Oramo said: “I am very excited about my future collaboration with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra and I cherish many common values: aspiration, curiosity and a strong desire to work hard in order to achieve the highest possible artistic standards. Having served as Music Director of the CBSO for ten seasons, I am delighted to be returning to the musical scene of the UK. I am planning to explore a wide range of repertory with the Orchestra, notably also new aspects in the rich landscape of British music, present and past.”
Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3 and Director, BBC Proms said: “I’m thrilled that Sakari Oramo has agreed to become the next Chief Conductor in a line of distinguished artists who have led the orchestra throughout its creative life. His commitment to new work, British music and his first-rate interpretations of standard repertoire make him the perfect fit for the wide ranging work of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in its broadcast and public performances, not least at the Proms.”
Paul Hughes, General Manager, BBC Symphony Orchestra said: “The chemistry that Sakari and the BBC Symphony Orchestra created was extraordinary; I truly believe we are in for exciting times as we build on the great legacy of Jiøí Bìlohlávek’s achievements and look forward to exploring the wide range of Sakari’s musical interests.”