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Performer: Sakari Oramo

Biography
Sakari Oramo (born 1965 in Helsinki) is Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Co-Founder and Principal Conductor of West Coast Kokkola Opera.

He recently signed a new four year contract with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (RSPO), lasting until spring 2015, with an option for three more years after that. The work with the RSPO is a long-term commitment, dedicated at developing and further profiling the unique sound of the orchestra. Oramo has also been appointed as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, succeediing Jirí Belohlávek. Oramo's first performance in this role will be at the 2013 BBC Proms, followed by four concerts in the orchestra’s 2013–14 Barbican season.

Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo started his professional career in the early 1990’s as violin soloist, chamber musician and concert master of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO). After simultaneous studies in Jorma Panula’s conducting class at the Sibelius Academy, the focus of his musicianship shifted into conducting virtually overnight, after having stepped in to conduct the FRSO at short notice in January 1993. He was subsequently appointed as the orchestra’s Associate Principal Conductor and since 2003 has held the position of Music Director. Oramo’s name was catapulted onto the wider international scene when he was invited to become Sir Simon Rattle’s successor at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a position which he took up in 1998 and held for a decade.

In September 2008 Sakari Oramo succeed Alan Gilbert as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. As he commences his fourth season in Stockholm, Oramo has already led the orchestra through a series of high profile projects and engagements which have included international tours and many widely acclaimes cd recordings. In the UK the Guardian described the recordings of the Schuman symphonies (Sony) as “exhilarating and vividly dramatic” and the BBC Music Magazine wrote “These are impressive accounts, with Oramo coaxing some outstanding playing from his fine Swedish orchestra”.

Recently discs with violinists Daniel Hope and Baiba Skride on Deutsche Grammophon and Orfeo respectively. The 2010 performance at the Nobel Prize Concerts featuring Sakari Oramo, the RSPO and Joshua Bell was released on DVD by Accentus Music/Nobel Media. Released in 2011 was, among others, a trilogy of orchestral works by Hillborg on the BIS label. The project, which also features conductors Alan Gilbert and Esa Pekka Salonen, will be the first, full-length CD championing Hillborg’s major orchestral works.

In 2006, together with his wife and long-standing artistic soulmate soprano Anu Komsi and her colleague Annika Mylläri, Oramo founded an opera company in the Finnish West Coast town of Kokkola. West Coast Kokkola Opera (WCKO) has already established a leading position in the Finnish alternative opera field, as opposed to the "official" National Opera and the Savonlinna festival. Their productions, The Marriage of Figaro, Fledermaus, an Italian church opera double-bill, Alban Berg´s Lulu, Sebastian Fagerlund’s new commission Döbeln (also available on a BIS recording) and Carmen have all profited from a creative approach to opera as an artform suitable for everyone, and high musical quality. In 2011, WCKO staged Mozart’s Magic Flute.

Sakari Oramo has led performances with prestigious orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Wiener Philharmoniker, Dresden Staatskapelle, San Francisco Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic.

Sakari Oramo has received Honorary Doctorates from both the University of Central England and Birmingham University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the musical life of the city and in 2009 he received an Honorary OBE from HM the Queen in recognition of his services to music.
Upcoming eventsSee more...

LondonElgar and Dvorak

Elgar, Dvořák
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo; Nicola Benedetti

LondonStravinsky's Rite of Spring

Stravinsky, Shostakovich
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo; Igor Yuzefovich

StockholmMartinu and Smyth

Martinu and Smyth
Martinů, Smyth
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Sakari Oramo; Paulina Pfeiffer; Catriona Morison; Michael Weinius; Tuomas Pursio

StockholmMahler's Symphony no. 7

Mahler's Symphony no. 7
Mahler: Symphony no. 7
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Sakari Oramo

LondonLarcher and Mahler

Larcher, Mahler
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo
Latest reviewsSee more...

Precision and transparency from Sakari Oramo and the BBCSO in Ligeti

Sakari Oramo and the BBCSO © BBC | Mark Allan
This final concert of the BBCSO’s Total Immersion day dedicated to György Ligeti, proved to be something a revelation, both in terms of the variety of the music and the quality of the performances.
*****
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Three Austrians from three centuries

Sakari Oramo © Benjamin Ealovega
Even in a flawed performance, The Song of the Earth fills the hearer with its life-affirming carpe diem message.
***11
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Steven Isserlis silences the Schumann doubters

Steven Isserlis and Sakari Oramo with the BBC Symphony Orchestra © Mark Allan
Virtuoso makes the case for late Schumann with triumphant performance of the cello concerto
****1
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Powerful Prokofiev, charming Copland

Martin Fröst, Sakari Oramo and the BBCSP © BBC | Mark Allan
Three works written in the turbulent years after the end of World War 2 were featured in this dynamic concert with the BBCSO under the baton of Sakari Oramo.
*****
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Fantastic variations: Brett Dean's new Cello Concerto

Alban Gerhardt © Kaupo Kikkas
Sakari Oramo conducts the European première of a fine new work alongside familiar Grieg and Sibelius.
****1
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