Bramwell Tovey

Bramwell Tovey: Winnipeg New Music Festival

Maestro Tovey is the Principal Conductor of the B.B.C. Concert Orchestra, based in London, U.K. Since September 2018 he has also been Artistic Advisor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. One of the most versatile and charismatic musicians in the world, Bramwell Tovey is a Grammy Award-winning conductor and a renowned composer and jazz pianist.

Growing up in East London, he played piano, tuba, and violin by the time he was a teenager. Famed for his amusing, erudite, and delightfully irreverent remarks from the stage, he is, as one critic put it, “…the witty bloke everybody wants to sit next to at the pub.”

From 2000 to 2018 Tovey was Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Founder and Artistic Advisor of the VSO’s state of the art School of Music in downtown Vancouver. In December 2018 the facility was renamed the Tovey Centre for Music incorporating the VSO School of Music in his honour. He is now the orchestra’s Music Director Emeritus.

In January 2019 he assumed the role of Artistic Director of Calgary Opera, one of Canada’s leading companies with an outstanding record of newly commissioned mainstage work. Maestro Tovey has planned the company’s seasons for 2020/21 and 2021/22 but relinquished the position for health reasons during the COVID-19 crisis. He returned to conduct the company’s performances of Beethoven’s Fidelio this past November.

From 1989 to 2000 Bramwell Tovey was music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra where he established the WSO’s now internationally renowned New Music Festival with Glenn Buhr, the orchestra’s first composer-in-residence and his successor, Randolph Peters. The festival recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. During successive festivals Bramwell led over 200 contemporary works, including many Canadian and world premieres, all broadcast on the CBC Radio network. Guest visiting composers to the festival included Louis Andriessen, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, Mark Anthony Turnage, Joan Tower, Arvo Part, Aaron Jay Kernis, R.Murray Schafer, Bright Sheng and Gavin Bryars.

Bramwell is now the WSO’s Conductor Laureate.

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