Sakari Oramo

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Sakari Oramo

Sakari Markus Oramo

(1965-10-26) 26 October 1965 (age 57)
Helsinki, Finland
Alma materSibelius Academy, Helsinki
Occupation(s)Conductor of classical music
(active 1993–present)
Known forConductor of
SpouseAnu Komsi (m.1988)

Sakari Markus Oramo, OBE[1] (born 26 October 1965) is a Finnish conductor. He is chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Biography and career[edit]

Oramo was born in Helsinki and started his career as a violinist and concertmaster of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1989, he enrolled in Jorma Panula's conducting class at the Sibelius Academy. In 1993, just one year after completing the course, he stood in for a sick conductor with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. This led to his appointment as co-principal conductor. Oramo has also worked with Finland's Avanti! ensemble.[2] Oramo became principal guest conductor of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra in 1995, and one of its principal conductors in 2009. In 2013, he became the orchestra's artistic director.[3]

In September 1996, Oramo was named principal conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), having conducted the CBSO in two concerts prior to that appointment. He then assumed the post of music director and artistic advisor in 1998.[4] His work in Birmingham included the Floof! festival of contemporary music.[5] He also championed the music of John Foulds in concerts and recordings with the CBSO.[6][7] From 2003 to 2012,[8] Oramo was sole principal conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.[9]

Oramo was at the forefront of the Edward Elgar sesquicentenary celebrations in 2007, and was awarded the Elgar Medal in 2008 for his efforts in advancing Elgar's music.[10] In 2008, Oramo stepped down as the CBSO's music director and became the orchestra's principal guest conductor for the 2008–2009 season.[11]

In April 2007, Oramo was one of eight conductors of British orchestras to endorse the 10-year classical music outreach manifesto, "Building on Excellence: Orchestras for the 21st Century", to increase the presence of classical music in the UK, including giving free entry to all British schoolchildren to a classical music concert.[12] In addition to his conducting and recording work, Oramo has also published newspaper articles on music.[7][13]

In September 2008, Oramo became chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. His initial contract in Stockholm was for three years.[14][15] With the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, he has recorded symphonies of Robert Schumann.[14] In 2011, Oramo's contract with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic was extended to 2015. In April 2016, his Stockholm contract was further extended to 2021.[16] He concluded his chief conductorship of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic at the close of the 2020–2021 season.[17] He has made commercial recordings with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic for such labels as BIS.[18]

In October 2011, Oramo made his first guest conducting appearance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra[19] (BBC SO), his first guest-conducting engagement with any London orchestra. On the basis of this concert, in February 2012, Oramo was named the 13th chief conductor of the BBC SO, effective with the First Night of the 2013 Proms season.[20][21] His initial contract was for 3 years, with a pending subsequent option for an additional 2 years.[3] Oramo held the title of chief conductor designate for the 2012–2013 season.[22] In September 2015, the BBC SO announced the extension of his contract to the 2019–2020 season.[23] In May 2018, the BBC SO indicated a further extension of Oramo's contract through 2022.[24] In October 2020, the BBC SO announced a further extension of Oramo's contract as chief conductor through September 2023, the scheduled conclusion of the 2023 Proms season.[25] In April 2022, the BBC SO announced an additional extension of Oramo's contract as its chief conductor through the end of the 2025–2026 season.[26] He has recorded commercially with the BBC SO with such labels as harmonia mundi[27] and Chandos, including the second commercial recording of William Alwyn's Miss Julie.[28]

Oramo is married to the Finnish soprano Anu Komsi, and they have two sons, Taavi and Leevi.[29] In May 2009, Oramo was awarded an honorary OBE for services to music in Birmingham.[1] Oramo and Komsi, together with Annika Mylläri and Robert McLoud, founded West Coast Kokkola Opera in 2004. Oramo serves as its vice chairman and principal conductor. In March 2017, the Sibelius Academy announced the appointment of Oramo as professor of orchestral training and orchestral conducting, with a contract scheduled from 1 January 2020 through 31 December 2024.[30]


  1. ^ a b William Oliphant (11 May 2009). "Honorary OBE for CBSO's Oramo". Birmingham Post. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
  2. ^ Andrew Clements (25 October 2000). "Avanti!/Oramo". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Sakari Oramo is to become BBC Symphony Orchestra's next chief conductor". Helsingin Sanomat – International Edition. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  4. ^ Tom Service (13 August 1999). "This man isn't rattled". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
  5. ^ Tom Service (31 May 2003). "Floof!". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
  6. ^ Peter Culshaw (26 April 2006). "Visionary genius of the spirit world". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 June 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
  7. ^ a b Sakari Oramo (28 April 2006). "The forgotten man". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  8. ^ "Sakari Oramo's Term as Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra to end in 2012" (Press release). Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. 3 September 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Sakari Oramo (Conductor) – Short Biography".
  10. ^ Bill Kenny (January–June 2008). "Sakari Oramo Awarded The Elgar Medal". Seen and Heard International. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  11. ^ Terry Grimley (23 February 2006). "Who will pick up Oramo's baton?". The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
  12. ^ Charlotte Higgins (26 April 2007). "Orchestras urge free concerts for children". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
  13. ^ Sakari Oramo (25 July 2007). "Stand up for the maestro". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  14. ^ a b Andrew Clements (15 July 2010). "Schumann: Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 – Royal Stockholm PO/Oramo (Sony Classical)". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  15. ^ Vivien Schweitzer (31 March 2006). "Sakari Oramo to Succeed Alan Gilbert at Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  16. ^ "Sakari Oramo Chief Conductor". Konserthuset Stockholm. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Sista säsongen för Sakari Oramo". iMusiken. 22 April 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  18. ^ Stephen Pritchard (3 May 2015). "Nielsen: Symphony No 2, 'The Four Temperaments'; Symphony No 6 'Sinfonia Semplice' CD review – blistering accounts of fine companion pieces". The Observer. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  19. ^ Andrew Clements (31 October 2011). "BBCSO/Oramo – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  20. ^ "BBC Symphony Orchestra announces new Chief Conductor" (Press release). BBC. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  21. ^ Tom Service (10 July 2015). "Conductor Sakari Oramo: the Finn's First Night at the Proms". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  22. ^ Alex Needham (23 February 2012). "Sakari Oramo to become BBC Symphony Orchestra chief conductor". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  23. ^ "Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo to remain at helm of BBC Symphony Orchestra until 2020" (Press release). BBC. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  24. ^ "We're thrilled to announce that our Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo has extended his contract with us until 2022". BBC Symphony Orchestra. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  25. ^ "Sakari Oramo extends contract as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra" (Press release). Harrison Parrott. 22 October 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  26. ^ "SSakari Oramo extends his contract as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra" (Press release). Harrison Parrott. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  27. ^ Erica Jeal (28 May 2015). "Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor and 12 Lyric Pieces CD review – an expansive, romantic interpretation". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  28. ^ Richard Fairman (3 July 2020). "BBC Symphony Orchestra's Alwyn: Miss Julie — sensationally gripping". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  29. ^ Jenny Leonardz (10 September 2008). "Musiklek på blodigt allvar". Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
  30. ^ "Sakari Oramo appointed Professor at the Sibelius Academy" (Press release). Harrison Parrott. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2020.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by Principal Conductor, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Preceded by Principal Conductor, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Juha Kangas
Artistic Director, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Succeeded by