Maestro stays: A man who is not tired of London

Maestro stays: A man who is not tired of London


norman lebrecht

May 15, 2018

Sakari Oramo renewed today as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony until 2022.

Unless the Brexiteers replace him with a Union Jack.


  • Player says:

    He’s happy to be transitioning then?

  • FS60103 says:

    All those Brexiteers at the BBC? LOL. Sorry, I just snorted my tea out through my nose.

  • Anthony Kershaw says:

    Even a fine conductor like Oramo can’t solve the problems of this sloppy orchestra. Where some very fine players go to build up a pension and retire at 60.

    • Dave says:

      Not heard them recently, have you.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        I’ve never heard the BBC SO live. But I have a very positive impression from youtube recordings of their performances at the Proms. How are they doing during the rest of the year?

    • Arthur Spon says:

      what a plonker you are. you have no idea of the quality of this fine modern Orchestra.

  • Anton Bruckner says:

    Thus probably an appropriate milestone to rate the different BBC orchestras. Is the BBCSO the most prominent or is it the BBC Phil or BBC Scottish SO? And which conductor left genuine lasting influence on these orchestras? I would say Noseda at the Phil and Vilkov at the BBC SSO. Not sure the present MD “regime” at the BBC orchestras is similarly succesful.

    • Anton Bruckner says:

      This is probably
      And Volkov not Vilkov
      Sorry for the typos

    • SDG says:

      Or the BBCNOW – recently heard part of a performance of a Bruckner Symphony – didn’t know who was performing till later – much impressed.

      • Una says:

        Yes, we always bash up the BBC orchestras. The repertoire they do plus all the commissions often on sight-reading ability is simply amazing and so little rehearsal time as that’s what we do in Britain – particularly at the Proms when some of the foreign orchestras have come, made a great impression with a programne they did ten times three times a week elsewhere!

  • Wally Francis says:

    If you actually like MUSIC – this is indeed good news for music lovers in the UK.

    Sakari Oramo is a very fine musician, dedicated to his art and totally engaged with
    presenting new music from the very best contemporary composers as well as giving
    thoughtful and engaging performances of other masterworks. He seems to be able
    to work through the music rather than a highly oiled/managed publicity machine; and that is incredibly refreshing in this personality driven age.

    His ten years with the CBSO were outstanding, although he never truly got the credit for that he deserved. So it is now with the BBCSO.

    Just look at some of the fabulous composers he has rehabilitated; John Foulds
    and now Florent Schmitt, both of whom he has brought to a grateful and wider public with fantastic recordings.

    He is a very fine Sibelius conductor, a superb Elgarian and an engaging interpreter of just about anything he opens a score of.

    Good news all round – so why all the usual inane comments about politics, and just about anything else all the “usual anonymous suspects” drone on about.

    Which ever way you view this story it very good news.

    • FS60103 says:


    • The Ghost of Karlos Cleiber says:

      Well said. Sakari is both a terrific (and wide-ranging) musician and a gent. He’s one of the very few conductors I’ve heard professional players speak about with nothing but warmth and respect. The BBCSO is lucky to have him – and happily, it seems they know that.

    • PETER LONGSHAW says:

      SPOT ON; a true musician, surely well respected by the players as he led an orchestra himself. The finest living Elgarian in my view.

  • Martin says:

    Oramo has been so good for the BBCSO and they play for him like no other. I greatly look forward to being at his performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius later today. He did all three Elgar oratorios (superbly) in his Birmigham days. The BBCSO is such an ‘up and down’ ensemble and can often be extremely dull – I hear them live quite often. Yet under the right conductor they can equal the other London orchestras – well, almost. As for the other BBC bands – I think the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to be the best and they constantly play their London colleagues off the stage.

    • MacroV says:

      I heard the BBCNOW in Virginia about 10 years ago (I think), under Thierry Fischer. Nothing novel in the program (except for some Welsh encore), but their Brahms 2 had me thinking they were as good as most orchestras I’d heard. Of course I’ve long come to the view – having heard 50+ orchestras around the world – that any orchestra that pays a living wage (and sometimes less) is good.

      I like Oramu, too; heard him in Prague with the BBCSO and the Czech Philharmonic.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    A good horn player told me that Oramo’s Nielsen recordings are really terrific.

  • Michael Davis says:

    It is to be hoped that Mr Oramo works on his musical manners, during the rest of his contract. To start “Tom Bowling”, (Sea Songs, Last Night of the Proms, 2017)…not once, but twice, without establishing a proper “contact”with the solo cellist, was an unforgivable breach of musical courtesy. Such belligerent high handedness, is a quality to be found in many of Mr Oramo’s conducting colleagues, but this example of musical bullying was in a class of it’s own.

  • Furzwängler says:

    “Unless the Brexiteers replace him with a Union Jack.”

    We don’t need to. Oramo already did us the favour of wearing an ostentatiously colourful Union Jack waistcoat at the Last Night of the Proms a couple or so years ago.

    Thank you Sakari!