Grammy and Juno award–winning conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey was appointed music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 2000. Under his leadership the VSO has toured China, Korea, Canada, and the United States. Mr. Tovey is also the artistic adviser of the VSO School of Music, a state-of-the-art facility and recital hall which opened in downtown Vancouver in 2011. In 2018, the VSO’s centenary year, he will become the orchestra’s music director emeritus.
The 2017–18 season in Vancouver includes tours in the fall and spring showcasing the orchestra in their home state as well as key east coast Canadian cities. Other engagements will take Mr. Tovey to the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Houston, Toronto, and Melbourne symphonies, as well as returns to summer festivals in Vail, Tanglewood, and the Hollywood Bowl.
An active composer, Bramwell Tovey won the 2003 Juno Award for Best Classical Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a Charred Skull. Past commissions include the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, and Calgary Opera, which premiered his first full length opera, The Inventor, in 2011 (a recording of which by the VSO with UBC Opera and the original cast has been released on Naxos). In 2014 his trumpet concerto, Songs of the Paradise Saloon, was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Philadelphia Orchestra with Alison Balsom as soloist in both concerts.
A talented pianist as well as conductor and composer, he has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics and Sydney, Melbourne, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto, and Royal Scottish National symphony orchestras. In the summer of 2014 he played and conducted Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and in Saratoga with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He has performed his own Pictures in the Smoke with the Melbourne and Helsingborg Symphonies and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mr. Tovey was music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra from 1989 to 2001, and music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg from 2002 to 2006.
Bramwell Tovey is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London and Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and holds honorary degrees from the universities of British Columbia, Manitoba, Kwantlen, and Winnipeg. In 2013 he was appointed an honorary Officer of the Order of Canada for services to music.