Maestro move: Sakari Oramo takes over at Sibelius Academy

Maestro move: Sakari Oramo takes over at Sibelius Academy


norman lebrecht

March 24, 2017

Message from Vesa Siren:

Congratulations to Sibelius Academy and Sakari Oramo, their next professor of conducting from 2020.

This is the famous chair of Jorma Panula, Eri Klas, Leif Segerstam and now Atso Almila, who retires in 2019. Oramo, son of two Sibelius Academy professors, will probably have to give up one of his orchestras – BBC Symphony, Stockholm Phil, Ostrobotnian Chamber Orchestra) – but “I will follow the situation and there is no hurry”, he just said to me.

He will continue in London at least until summer 2020 and in Stockholm at least until 2021. Much more on Oramo (pages 773-800) and on Finnish conducting from Kajanus and Sibelius to Santtu-Matias Rouvali and Klaus Mäkelä auf Deutsch in (my book) Finnlands Dirigenten, published next Friday in Berlin.

portrait: Norman Perryman


Official announcement:

Conductor Sakari Oramo has been invited to become Professor of Orchestral Training and Orchestral Conducting at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki for the five-year period 1 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2024. He succeeds Professor Atso Almila, who will retire when his term expires in 2019.

Sakari Oramo (b. 1965) is one of the world’s most sought-after and distinguished conductors. He is currently Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also Principal Conductor of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and the West Coast Kokkola Opera.

Oramo studied with Jorma Panula in the Sibelius Academy conducting class and graduated in 1992. He also participated in masterclasses given by Ilya Musin and Atso Almila. Before his conducting studies, he studied the violin at the Sibelius Academy and the Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands. He was once leader of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and continues to perform extensively as a chamber musician and soloist.


  • Wally Francis says:

    Wonderful news, BUT I hope this will not mean we hear less of Sakari as a
    conductor and player.

    Sakari is a fabulous musician in every sense; a glorious conductor who is totally unaffected by all the hype and “personality culture” that so sadly surrounds the vast majority of his peers.

    Perhaps if he takes on the mantle as a trainer of conductors at the famous Sibelius academy – he will impress upon all his pupils the need to focus on the music and just the music.

    My only worry is that we might end up hearing less of him in concert and for true music lovers that would be a grievous loss indeed.

    His ten years as CBSO music director were the most musically searching and satisfying I have ever experienced in a life time of concert going.

    They are so smart in Finland!

    • stweart says:

      Well said Wally. So often given too little recognition as one of the stream of top class conductors in charge of the CBSO. MUCH magnificent work during his tenure !