British conductor Rumon Gamba is Chief Conductor of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra, a post he has held since January 2022. Previous positions included Principal Conductor and Music Director of NorrlandsOperan (2008-2015); Chief Conductor of the Aalborg Symfoniorkester (2011-2015), and Chief Conductor and Music Director of Iceland Symphony Orchestra (2002-2010). He regularly leads the BBC orchestras and has appeared at the BBC Proms on a number of occasions.
A champion of new music, Gamba has given several high profile premieres including the world premieres of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys at English National Opera, Brett Dean’s Viola Concerto with the composer and BBC Symphony Orchestra; national premieres of Poul Ruders’ Dancer in the Dark and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Blood on the Floor and Scherzoid with NorrlandsOperan and the Australian premiere of the original version of Sibelius’ Symphony No.5 with Queensland Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 he conducted Larsson Gothe’s The African Prophetess with the orchestra of NorrlandsOperan and Cape Town Opera Chorus as part of the Royal Stockholm Orchestras’ composer week. He appeared at the 2017 Enescu Festival with works by Sven Helbig and Rolf Martinsson. Rumon returned to the BBC Proms in 2017 to conduct a BBC commission by Michael Gordon for the jazz ensemble ‘Bang on a Can All-Stars’ together with the Proms Youth Ensemble. He has also collaborated with Ittai Shapira and Lotta Wennäkoski with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Kymi Sinfonietta respectively.
Highlights of Gamba’s recent and future seasons include Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic, Helsingborg Philharmonic, Romanian Radio Symphony, Madeconian Phiharmonic, Goteborgs Symfoniker, Ulster Orchestra and WDR Funkhausorchester; a concert performance with Wermland Opera in Karlstad, and several concerts and recordings with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Rumon Gamba has conducted a number of operatic titles including Rigoletto at Scottish Opera, Carmen, La bohème, Otello, and Candide. In celebration of Umeå’s status as European Capital of Culture 2014, he conducted NorrlandsOperan in an epic outdoor production of Elektra with La Fura dels Baus which was critically acclaimed. With both NorrlandsOperan and Aalborg Symfoniorkester, Gamba continued his popular late night concerts aimed at young adults which he first introduced whilst at Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Next season he will conduct The Magic Flute for Oulu Opera, and future projects include a ballet double bill for Finnish National Opera.
Rumon Gamba has recorded exclusively with Chandos Records for over 20 years. His projects include a series of D’Indy’s orchestral works with the Iceland Symphony, the first of which was nominated for a Grammy Award. Other recordings include works by the Swedish composer Dag Wirén: British Overtures and Tone Poems with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as works by Malcolm Williamson, Malcom Arnold and Milòs Ròzsa. Recent projects include a Ruth Gipps recording with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and a recording of Finnish overtures with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra.
Gamba studied with Colin Metters at the Royal Academy of Music and became the first conducting student to receive the DipRAM. He won the Lloyds Bank BBC Young Musicians Conductors Workshop in February 1998, and then became Assistant and then Associate Conductor to the BBC Philharmonic, a post he held until 2002. The Royal Academy of Music recognised his contribution to music when they made him an Associate that same year. In 2017, he became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.