“The multi-talented Taavi Oramo is only taking his first steps as a conductor but it’s immediately clear that another Finnish conductor is on his way to an international career”(Helsingin Sanomat)
Former Artist in Residence: Tapiola Sinfonietta
Artistic Director: VocalEspoo Festival
Taavi Oramo enjoys a growing reputation for his forward-thinking approach to music-making. Previously Artist-in-Residence with Tapiola Sinfonietta and Artistic Director of VocalEspoo since 2020, he specialises in cultivating programmes which have an innate dramatic or thematic structure, and is equally at home in mainstream repertoire as he is in conducting cutting-edge contemporary works.
Forthcoming 2022/23 highlights as well as recent 2021/22 appearances include Oramo’s Asian debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, UK debut with the Hallé, French debut with Orchestra of the Opéra de Rouen, a return to the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, as well as debut engagements with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Dala Sinfonietta and Västerås Sinfonietta. Passionate about expanding cultural opportunities for young people, Oramo also worked with players of the European Union Youth Orchestra, Sibelius Academy students and Tempo Oulu El Sistema Orchestra as part of a Helsinki Community Day in April 2022.
Other recent conducting engagements/return visits include the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera, Tampere Philharmonic, Turku Philharmonic, Norrköping Symphony and Oulu Symphony orchestras. Oramo has also appeared with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, BIT20 Ensemble, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Finnish Chamber Opera, Finnish and Helsinki Baroque Orchestras, and Joensuu City Orchestra. He is the conductor on Finnish singer-songwriter Yona’s album Uni johon herään, and the pair join forces once again with the Tapiola Sinfonietta at the Helsinki Festival in Summer 2022.
Oramo’s skills in electronics and sound design and as a tenor and clarinettist influence his repertoire choices, from improvisatory elements to multi-disciplinary collaborations. With his experimental electroacoustic group Tölöläb, which combines woodwinds with live electronics, notable performances include interspersing live improvised interludes within movements of Webern’s Symphony Op.21 and Magnus Lindberg’s Jubilees (Tapiola Sinfonietta, with Oramo conducting) and collaborating with internationally renowned jazz trumpeter Verneri Pohjola and dream-pop duo Karina to produce an hour-long TV concert for the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
The double role of conducting-singing is also an occasional feature of Oramo’s programming; he most recently performed Heta Aho’s Three Songs to Poems by Edith Södergran (world orchestral premiere, Pori Sinfonietta; Asian premiere, Hong Kong Philharmonic). “Two things that excite me most about conducting-singing are that it’s a thoroughly visceral way to perform music and that it allows for a nuanced relationship between text and music in an orchestral setting. Pieces that I know inside and out help me craft programmes with strong dramatic arcs that have deep meaning for me.”
Oramo studied conducting at the Panula Academy under Jorma Panula and at Sibelius Academy under Atso Almila and Hannu Lintu. His conducting career was launched with two short-notice jump-ins with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta, for which he received glowing reviews – “The multi-talented Taavi Oramo is only taking his first steps as a conductor, but it’s immediately clear that another Finnish conductor is on his way to an international career” (Helsingin Sanomat). He is a founding member, former executive director and Chairman of the Board at Eloa Culture Company, which produces multidisciplinary chamber music events.
HarrisonParrott represents Taavi Oramo for worldwide general management.
“Oramo ensured that the orchestra created a beautifully rich background against which Pohjola’s violin shone and sparkled. […]. [Mendelsohn’s Italian Symphony] was given an assured performance by Oramo and the orchestra who brought out its surges of feeling.”
“The recreation of Beethoven’s famous concert was a great victory for Taavi Oramo.”
“The four hour concert was twice the length of a normal one. It was a great challenge for Oramo and an even greater success. Oramo, extremely musical, conducted calmly and securely and created an intimate and sensitive connection with the players and singers. (…) [In Beethoven’s Mass in C Major] Oramo united the soloists, choir and orchestra into a colourful symphonic whole. ”
“Taavi Oramo could have had a distinguished career as a clarinetist or at least as well as a singer but clearly a career as a conducted seemed like a more attractive option. And why not? His voice and his clarinet will be useful in the future and Oramo is so obviously gifted as a conductor that it would have been a real pity if that path had not been explored seriously. (…) From Friday’s concert in Tapiola it appeared clear that the technical side is one of Oramo’s greatest strengths. If I were an orchestral musician I would love to play under his extremely clear, mannerism-free and altogether natural lead.”
“There are many reasons to predict that Taavi Oramo will be the next young Finnish conductor to rise to international acclaim. (…) Although his gestures are generally soft, when necessary he is more assertive and gets fantastic rises from the orchestra. (…) [In Scriabin’s piano concerto] in addition to being a conductor Oramo is a clarinetist and a singer and he has the skill to make an orchesta sing with passion. (…) [In Arnold Schönberg’s Chamber Symphony] Oramo’s work in the complex structures of the piece was precise and strict but at the same time breathing and lively. ”
“The multi-talented Taavi Oramo is only taking his first steps as a conductor but it’s immediately clear that another Finnish conductor is on his way to an international career. Oramo was invited on just a few days’ notice to jump in for Mario Venzago. Even so the repertoire including the challenging Wennäkoski was perfectly under control. (…) The strings of the Tapiola Sinfonietta were a perfect ensemble to interpret Oramo’s visions of Verklärte Nacht by Schönberg. Romantic conventions were broken for a challengingly fresh interpretation.”
“Jubilees by Magnus Lindberg sounded more full-blooded, flowing and dynamic than the recording conducted by the composer himself. Oramo’s interpretation had graphicness, accurately directed crispness and lush sensualness. With the warm support of Tapiola Sinfonietta’s players Taavi Oramo proved that his talent carries.”
“[Jumping in for James Gaffigan] Taavi Oramo conducted Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra calmly and firmly. [Oramo] got to prove his versatility in the three completely different works performed. (…) The collaboration between Conrad Tao and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Oramo went well. In Oramo a firm calmness is combined with accuracy and suppleness. Gestures are economical.”