Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 24 October 2015

Alex James celebrates the 50th birthday of conductor Sakari Oramo, and other musical anniversaries.

Tonight Alex will light candles on the birthday cake for the Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo OBE who turns 50 on Monday. Oramo is best known in this country as Music Director and Artistic Advisor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 1998. He was at the forefront of the orchestra’s Edward Elgar celebrations in 2007, and was awarded the Elgar Medal in 2008 for his efforts in advancing Elgar's music. 

Alex also celebrates the 77th birthday of composer Howard Blake this Wednesday, and the violinist Midori who is 44 tomorrow.

Among this week's musical anniversaries, Alex marks the premieres of Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremburg, Brahms’s Symphony No.4 and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1. 

He also finds out how Chopin met the love of his life at Franz Liszt’s house (and why she was dressed as a man), and how Mozart kept it in the family for the first performance of his Mass in C minor.