Sakari Oramo, the current Chief Conductor of both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, was delighted and honoured to be presented this evening with CoScan’s renowned International Award 2018. Sakari accepted this prestigious award at a concert presented by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in London, which was also broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Previous winners have included the tennis star Stefan Edberg and the comedian Sandi Toksvig.
Sakari was conducting three 20th century masterpieces, each composed in the shadow of World War II, in a concert of musical and emotional contrasts – a programme of 20th century greats, bookended by two great Russian symphonies.
Mark Elliott, CMG, President of CoScan, introduced the organisation: “CoScan, the Confederation of Scandinavian Societies, includes all the main groups which bring together Scandinavians living in this country, and others here with a close interest in the region. Our member societies do all the usual things – lectures, film evenings, cultural outings – and CoScan keeps them in touch with each other.”
Dr Eva Robards, Chairman of CoScan, describes the award, “The CoScan International Award celebrates an achievement of outstanding merit by an individual, body or group related to one or more of the five Nordic countries. The award recognises those who have added public lustre to any of the Nordic countries and who have caused the British, and others outside the region, to view those countries with even greater affection and respect.”
Eva Robards then presented the award to Sakari saying, “Sakari Oramo, you are a most worthy winner of the CoScan International Award. Over many years you have raised the profile of Scandinavia’s great musical riches in the UK, and indeed you have done the same for British musical culture in Scandinavia.”
On receiving the award, Sakari Oramo replied, “I am delighted and honoured to accept this award from CoScan. I believe strongly that music, the most powerful of all art forms, affects our feelings and thoughts on all levels. For me to be able to bring the UK and the Nordic nations closer together through making music in London, Stockholm and around the globe, it is truly an honour and a privilege. Thank you very much indeed!”
About The BBC Symphony Orchestra
At the heart of British music for over 80 years, the BBC Symphony Orchestra performs an exciting, distinctive and wide-ranging season of concerts at the Barbican in its role as Associate Orchestra, offering everything from works at the heart of classical music to world premieres from today’s finest composers. The BBC SO provides the backbone of the BBC Proms, performing around a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. It performs throughout the world, and works regularly with its Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo, Semyon Bychkov, its Günter Wand Conducting Chair and Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given recent premieres of works by Harrison Birtwistle, Betsy Jolas, George Walker and Raymond Yui. Central to its life are recordings made for BBC Radio 3 during sessions at its studios in Maida Vale, London, some of which are free for the public to attend. The vast majority of its concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, streamed live online, and a number are televised, giving it the highest broadcast profile of any UK orchestra. Among ongoing learning projects are the BBC SO Plus Family scheme, which introduces families to live classical music, BBC SO Family Orchestra and Chorus, Total Immersion composer events, and work in local schools.