Taavi Oramo enjoys a growing reputation for his forward-thinking approach to music-making. Artist-in-Residence with Tapiola Sinfonietta in 2019/20 and Artistic Director of VocalEspoo from 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.
Recent conducting engagements include the Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera, Tampere Philharmonic, Turku Philharmonic, and Norrköping Symphony and Oulu Symphony orchestras; Oramo has also appeared with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, BIT20 Ensemble Bergen, Lemanic Modern Ensemble and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, among others. In 2021/22 debut engagements include the Latvian National Symphony and Transylvanian State Philharmonic orchestras, Orchestra of the Opéra de Rouen (concert tour), Orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera, Dala Sinfonietta and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, while among his return appearances are the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta (presenting Finnish singer-songwriter Yona’s new album Uni johon herään, on whose Johanna-label recording Oramo also conducts), Finnish Chamber Opera, Finnish Baroque Orchestra (together with Suomen Laulu for a performance of Handel’s Messiah) and the Joensuu City Orchestra.
Oramo is an accomplished tenor, and the double role of conducting-singing is an important feature of his programming; Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Kymi Sinfonietta, Joensuu City Orchestra) and Heta Aho’s Three Songs to Poems by Edith Södergran (world orchestral premiere, Pori Sinfonietta) are among recent performances. “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’s skills as a clarinettist and electronic musician further influence his repertoire choices, from improvisatory elements to multi-disciplinary collaborations. With his experimental electroacoustic group Tölöläb, which combines woodwinds with live electronics, recent 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.
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 in 2017/18 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.
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