Sakari Oramo to be next chief conductor of BBC Symphony Orchestra

Jiří Bělohlávek to become conductor laureate


Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo (pictured) is to take over as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC SO) in 2013.


Oramo’s first concert with the orchestra will be at the 2013 BBC Proms. He’ll then conduct four concerts at the London’s Barbican. 

The BBC SO’s current chief conductor, Jiří Bělohlávek, will become conductor laureate at the beginning of the 2012/13 season – the orchestra will be without an incumbent chief conductor for that year.

Oramo was previously music director of the CBSO from 1998-2008 and was awarded the Elgar medal in 2008 in recognition of his passion for the composer’s work. He first conducted the BBC SO in October 2011 in a programme of Sibelius, Saariaho and Bax.

‘I am delighted to be returning to the musical scene of the UK,’ Oramo said in a statement. ‘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 of Radio 3 and director of the 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.’


Elizabeth Davis