City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Music Director Sakari Oramo to Step Down

Classic Arts News   City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Music Director Sakari Oramo to Step Down
After ten years as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo will become principal guest conductor beginning with the 2008-09 season, the company announced.

Oramo was appointed principal conductor of the CBSO in 1998 and became music director just one year later. During his tenure thus far he has made 15 recordings with the orchestra, including a 2002 recording of Saint-SaêŠns piano concertos with Stephen Hough that was named Gramophone's Record of the Year.

Oramo will dedicate his final years as music director of the CBSO to celebrations of Mozart's 250th birthday, the Shostakovich centennial, the Elgar and Sibelius anniversaries, the completion of the orchestra's complete Stravinsky cycle, and at least seven overseas tours.

"After 10 years at the helm I feel it is a good time to stand aside," Oramo said in a statement. "But I love the CBSO and am glad that I will be able to continue working closely with it as principal guest conductor."

The City of Birmingham Orchestra was founded in 1920 and was the first symphony orchestra in the UK to be funded by a local government. Noteworthy conductors in the orchestra's early history included Adrian Boult and Harold Gray. In 1980, a then 25-year-old Simon Rattle was appointed principal conductor, a position he held until 1998.

The company did not announce any potential successors for Oramo.

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