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.
The 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. In addition to performing in its home town, Kokkola, the OCO regularly tours both in Finland and abroad. In the summer of 2023 it once again performed at the celebrated Würzburg Mozart Festival in Germany. Outside Europe, it has held concerts in Japan and New York.
When the artistic directorship of Sakari Oramo had come to its end (2013–2019), OCO invited the Swedish violinist Malin Broman as Artistic Director. Broman, a renowned soloist, chamber musician and music director, started her season in autumn 2019.