The BBC Symphony Orchestra has named Sakari Oramo as its chief conductor designate, succeeding Jiří Bělohlávek. Oramo’s first performance as chief conductor will be at the 2013 BBC Proms. He will follow this with four concerts in the 2013-14 Barbican season.
The Finnish conductor is currently in his tenth and final season as Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra chief. He also heads the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and West Coast Kokkola Opera. He made his debut with the BBC Symphony in October last year – also his first time conducting a London orchestra – kick-starting the orchestra’s season of Sibelius symphonies. It is anticipated that his BBC tenure will combine his Finnish heritage and his love for British music, developed during his time as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2008.
‘I am very excited about my future collaboration with the BBC Symphony Orchestra,’ he said. ‘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.’