Grammy and Juno Award–winning conductor / composer Bramwell Tovey has recently added the title of artistic director of Calgary Opera Company to his role as principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra and artistic advisor to the Rhode Island Philharmonic.
Following an 18-year tenure as music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), which concluded in summer 2018, he returns as music director emeritus. Under his leadership the VSO toured China, South Korea, Canada, and the United States. His innovations included the establishment of the VSO School of Music; the VSO’s annual contemporary music festival; and the VSO Orchestral Institute at Whistler, a comprehensive summer orchestral training program for young musicians.
During the 2019–20 season Mr. Tovey returns to The Philadelphia Orchestra for its Christmas concerts and New Year’s Eve Gala, and conducts the New York Philharmonic’s summer Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer. In addition to monthly appearances in London, his guest conducting takes him to Scandinavia, San Diego, and Sarasota.
In 2003 he won the Juno Award for Best Classical Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a Charred Skull. His song cycle Ancestral Voices, which addresses the issue of reconciliation and was written for Kwagiulth mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, was premiered in June 2017. His trumpet concerto, Songs of the Paradise Saloon, was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony for principal trumpet Andrew McCandless and performed in 2014 by Alison Balsom with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and London Philharmonic Orchestra. A recording of his opera, The Inventor, commissioned by Calgary Opera, features the original cast, members of UBC Opera, and the VSO.
Previously music director of Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg, he led the world premiere of Penderecki’s Eighth Symphony on the opening of the principality’s Philharmonie. He won the Prix d’or of the Academie Lyrique Française for their recording of Jean Cras’s 1922 opera, Polyphème, and they toured to China, South Korea, the United States, and Europe.
Recipient of the Oskar Morawetz 2015 Prize for Excellence in Music Performance, Mr Tovey was appointed an honorary Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013 for services to music. He has been artistic director of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain since 2006.
Learn more about Bramwell Tovey