Formed in 1972, the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra (OCO) is one of the best-known Finnish orchestras in the international arena. Under its founder, conductor Juha Kangas, it established an ambitious profile marked by a dynamic, quick-to-react sound and a repertoire stretching from the Baroque to the present day. Juha Kangas served as the orchestra’s Artistic Director until the end of 2008 and is now its Honorary Conductor.
Collaboration with composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren (1944–2008) spanning many decades is one example of the partnerships on which the OCO’s eminence is founded. The orchestra’s active role in promoting contemporary music has yielded over 190 premieres, many of which it has commissioned. The OCO has close relations with both Finnish composers and others in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Enjoying a wide international reputation, it has been awarded such honours as the Nordic Council Music Prize in 1993.
The OCO has made over 80 recordings that have won acclaim and spread its name abroad. Recent examples are the CD of the Hamburg Symphonies by C.Ph.E. Bach conducted by Sakari Oramo (the Orchestra’s Artistic Director 2013–2019) that won a Finnish classical Emma in 2014 and was nominated as Record of the Year by the BBC Music Magazine, and A Finnish Elegy (Alba, 2018), conducted by Juha Kangas and nominated for both an Emma and an International Classical Music Award.
In addition to performing in its home town, Kokkola, the OCO regularly tours both in Finland and abroad. In summer 2019 it made a return visit to the celebrated Würzburg Mozart Festival in Germany. Outside Europe, it has held concerts in Japan and New York.
Sakari Oramo has been succeeded as Artistic Director by Swedish violinist Malin Broman, a renowned soloist, chamber musician and music director, who took over in autumn 2019.
Malin Broman is a violinist much in demand as a soloist, artistic director, chamber musician, teacher and orchestral leader.
The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra is one of the best-known Finnish orchestras in the international arena.