On the very day the BBC Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 90th birthday, we are delighted to announce that Sakari Oramo has extended his contract as Chief Conductor of the BBC SO until the end of the BBC Proms in 2023.

When asked about the orchestra’s milestone birthday today, Oramo said: “Very often in these strange times my thoughts go back to a miraculous few days in 2011, when all of a sudden I found the most exciting artistic partnership of my life – the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The programme featured ‘Tintagel’ by Arnold Bax, Sibelius’s Third Symphony and vocal works by Sibelius and Kaija Saariaho with my dear Anu Komsi. What a quintessentially BBC SO-like programme that was – and yet probably one that hadn’t been dreamt of before.

This is the very strength of the BBC SO programming concept: strong on content, always looking for purposeful combinations of masterpieces old and new, well known and, above all, less familiar. The ability of this miraculous orchestra to transform itself according to the music they play (literally ANY music) – and their warm-hearted supportiveness, instinctive brilliance and ability to capture the essence of what makes a great musical performance – make them unique. From our Studio Concerts and recordings, through to our Barbican concerts, performances on tour in the UK and abroad and of course at the BBC Proms, including three editions of the Last Night of the Proms, I have relished and enjoyed every single performance together. May there be many more in the future, and may the BBC SO continue to blossom as London’s, the UK’s and the world’s beacon for artistic inventiveness.”

On the contract extension, Oramo added: “I am thrilled that this important musical relationship has been extended until the end of the Proms in 2023. I can’t wait to explore more exciting repertoire together and perform many more times with this extraordinary orchestra.”

Paul Hughes, Director of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, said: “I was immensely moved by Sakari’s remarks on the occasion of our 90th birthday.  The creative relationship he and the BBC SO enjoy is truly special and seeing it grow and develop over the years has been one of the joys of my time as Director.   His enthusiasm for extending his contract with us underlines the fact that there is still so much more exciting music to be made together, and that makes me and the whole team very happy.”

Friday 6 November, 20:00

BBC SO: Live from the Barbican

Anna Clyne Within Her Arms

Joseph Haydn Symphony No. 49 in F minor ‘La passione’

Magnus Lindberg Accused (world premiere of chamber version)

Anu Komsi soprano

Sakari Oramo conductor

BBC Symphony Orchestra

*There will be a limited live audience at the Barbican Hall. The concert can be watched live online and for 48 hours after the live stream