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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 have toured to China, Korea,
across 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, next to
the Orpheum, the VSO's historic home. His tenure has included
complete symphony cycles of Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms as well as
the establishment of an annual festival dedicated to contemporary
music. In 2018, the VSO's centenary year, he will become the
orchestra's Music Director Emeritus.
During the 15-16 season Mr. Tovey's guest appearances
include the symphonies of Montreal, Melbourne, New Zealand, and
Pacific Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York
Philharmonic, reprising his programs with both at Bravo! Vail in
summer 2016. The summer also includes returns to the Blossom Music
Center, Ravinia Festival, and Hollywood Bowl. In the winter of 2016
he will conduct Korngold's Die Tote Stadt with the
In the 14-15 season Mr. Tovey made guest appearances with several
US orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York
Philharmonic and Kansas City Symphony. In Europe he performed with
the BBC Philharmonic and the Helsingborgs Symfoniorkester and he
traveled to Australia on two separate occasions for engagements
with the symphonies of Melbourne and Sydney.
In 2003 Bramwell Tovey won the Juno Award for Best Classical
Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a
Charred Skull. Commissions include the New York and Los Angeles
Philharmonics, the Toronto Symphony and Calgary Opera who premiered
his first full length opera The Inventor in 2011. A
recording of the work by the VSO with UBC Opera and the original
cast was made for the Naxos label and will be released this season.
In 2014 his trumpet concerto, Songs of the Paradise
Saloon, was performed by the LA Philharmonic with Alison
Balsom as soloist, and was subsequently repeated by the same
soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, in December
A talented pianist as well as conductor and composer, he has
appeared as soloist with many major orchestras including the New
York, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, St Louis,
Toronto, and Royal Scottish orchestras. In the summer of 2014 he
played and conducted Gershwin's Rhapsody in
Blue at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Phil 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
Maestro Tovey was Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony
Orchestra from 1989 to 2001 where he founded the WSO's now
celebrated New Music Festival. From 2002-2006 he was Music Director
of Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, leading tours of Europe,
the USA, China and Korea. He opened Luxembourg's Salle Philharmonie
with the world première of Penderecki's
Mr. Tovey is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, the
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.
In August 2011 he was described by Musical America as "one of the
most versatile and charismatic musicians in the world."
Bramwell Tovey, conductor
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On May 10, 1995, Keith Lockhart, the 20th Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, opened his very first Boston Pops season, leading a concert featuring guests Sylvia McNair, Mandy Patinkin, and Doc Severinsen, and repertoire ranging from Wagner to “Charlie on the MTA.” He was only 35 years old—the same age as Arthur Fiedler was when he became Boston Pops Conductor in 1930—and was dubbed “The Kid” by longtime Pops Associate Conductor Harry Ellis Dickson. The press coverage from the time of Keith’s appointment to the position in February 1995 was extensive, commenting on not only his musical talent but also his good looks and enviable head of hair, as well as the challenge of following in the illustrious footsteps of John Williams and Arthur Fiedler. But this baby boomer, born in 1959, came to the position with musical chops, a remarkable work ethic, and a deep appreciation for both the institution of the Pops and its audience. His varied conducting experience encompassed both the symphonic and pops repertoire, as well as performances in concert halls and on recordings; he had most recently served as Associate Conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops, and made his Boston Pops debut as a guest conductor in 1993, just two years before he was appointed Conductor.
Over the next 25 years, with seemingly endless energy, Keith Lockhart, who holds the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor chair, would lead the Boston Pops in more than 2,000 concerts, in every imaginable setting—from hospitals to the Super Bowl—and collaborate with nearly 300 guest artists, drawn from the worlds of classical and popular music, rock, jazz, sports, politics, Broadway, and Hollywood.
Although acclaimed around the world, the Boston Pops—sometimes called “America’s Orchestra”—remains a treasured local fixture, as beloved as the region’s sports teams and historic landmarks. Its reputation has been acknowledged in popular culture, recently in a memorable episode of the animated television series “The Simpsons.” The family decided to take a “hate-cation” to Boston—because of Homer’s resentment of the “Boston Americans” football team and its fans—and ultimately fell in love with the city that has “a Symphony AND a Pops.” Through the years, Keith Lockhart has embraced Boston and in return, Boston has embraced him.
Most of the concerts led by Keith Lockhart take place in Symphony Hall, itself a registered historic landmark, during the orchestra’s spring and holiday seasons. He has also led annual Boston Pops appearances at Tanglewood, Pops concerts at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, 45 national tours to more than 150 cities in 38 states, and four international tours to Japan and Korea. He and the Pops have made 80 television shows, including 38 new programs for the PBS series Evening at Pops, and participated in such high-profile sporting events as Super Bowl XXXVI, the 2008 NBA finals, the 2013 Boston Red Sox Ring Ceremony, and the Red Sox Opening Day game at Fenway Park in 2009. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular draws a live audience of over half a million to the Charles River Esplanade, and millions more view it on television or live webcast. During Keith’s tenure, the July 4 event was televised by a major national network for the first time. In 2017, with Eaton Vance as presenting sponsor and Bloomberg as the exclusive media partner, the Pops organization presented its first self-produced Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which was broadcast on Bloomberg Television and all its media outlets. Both companies are continuing their commitments to the event.
Lockhart-led albums on the RCA Victor/BMG Classics label include Runnin’ Wild: The Boston Pops Play Glenn Miller, American Visions, The Celtic Album (Grammy-nominated, the first Boston Pops recording to be so honored), Holiday Pops, A Splash of Pops, The Latin Album (Latin Grammy-nominated), Encore!, and My Favorite Things: A Richard Rodgers Celebration. Recent releases on the in-house label, Boston Pops Recordings, include The Red Sox Album, A Boston Pops Christmas—Live from Symphony Hall, and The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, which was a Boston Pops commission premiered in 2010 during the orchestra’s 125th season. Released at the beginning of the 2017 Pops season, Lights, Camera...Music! Six Decades of John Williams features Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops in a collection of Williams compositions from the 1960s onward, including some rarities.
Keith’s personal affinity for American music has led him to program full-length Broadway musicals and invite stars of the musical theater world to perform with the Pops. He has worked closely with hundreds of talented young musicians, including Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, college students from the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and area high school students. He introduced the PopSearch talent competition and the innovative JazzFest and EdgeFest series, featuring prominent jazz and indie artists performing with the Pops. Well aware of the influence of technology on our lives and the concert experience, he was the driving force behind “Pops on Demand,” allowing audience members to vote on their cell phones in such categories as “Favorite Disney Song” and “Favorite John Williams Theme” and see the results in real time. The Lockhart/Pops album Oscar & Tony was the basis of a Pops internet TV broadcast, the first such program offered by a symphony orchestra. In recent seasons, he and the Pops have presented a number of films in concert, both classic (The Wizard of Oz) and contemporary (Home Alone). He is dedicated to building and updating the Boston Pops library of music, which contains over 5,000 arrangements.
With a renewed commitment to bringing the Boston Pops into the Boston community and to important civic events, Keith Lockhart and the Pops have appeared at gubernatorial and mayoral inauguration ceremonies; the holiday tree lighting in Boston’s Public Garden; sporting events including Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics games, and the memorial service for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. He has led free concerts in such major public spaces as the Boston Common and Franklin Park, and each holiday season he brings musicians of the Pops to play for patients at Children’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He is a recipient of the 2017 Commonwealth Awards for Achievement, the state’s highest honor in the arts, humanities, and sciences presented by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
More recently Keith and the Pops initiated a conducting competition for students aged 18 to 30 during the 2018 season-long celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial. As part of a 2019 Pops tour concert in Fort Lauderdale, Keith invited student survivors from the shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland to perform a song, composed by two of them, honoring the resilience of their community. Back at Symphony Hall, both the spring and holiday Pops seasons in 2019 included a sensory-friendly concert designed for families with children or adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or sensory sensitivities.
Keith recently completed a decade-long relationship with the BBC Concert Orchestra, first as principal conductor and then as the orchestra's chief guest conductor. During his tenure as principal conductor, he led the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II. He continues to serve as artistic director of the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival in North Carolina. Prior to his BBC appointment, he spent eleven years as music director of the Utah Symphony, which he led at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has appeared as a guest conductor with virtually every major symphonic ensemble in North America, as well as many prestigious orchestras in Asia and Europe. Before coming to Boston, he was the associate conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras, as well as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Keith Lockhart began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of seven. He holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University, and honorary doctorates from several American universities.
Having the gift of being able to communicate with people of all ages, Keith Lockhart readily conveys his passion for the music he loves, which covers a wide spectrum. His programming reflects this breadth of interest and he is completely at ease articulating his professional and personal perspectives. Above all, he believes in and appreciates the experience that only the Boston Pops can provide—an atmosphere of music-making that is both fun and entertaining. He has called the Pops “the great outreach arm of the classical music industry. There’s no orchestra like it in this country or in the world that plays such a wide variety of music at such a high level.”
For more on Keith Lockhart, visit keithlockhart.com or bostonpops.org.
Keith Lockhart, conductor
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Chief Conductor of the Noord Nederlands Orkest and Artist in Association at the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Stefan Asbury is in demand with many of the leading orchestras worldwide. The 2011/12 season includes performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (with Lang Lang as soloist), Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig amongst others.
Recent seasons have also included guest engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, RAI Turin, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of St Luke's. He enjoys frequent collaborations with the Basel Sinfonietta, WDR Sinfonieorchester, hr-Sinfonieorchester, NDR Sinfonieorchester and ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien. Asbury is also regular guest conductor at festivals such as Automne en Normandie, Wien Modern, Wiener Festwochen, Munich Biennale, the Salzburger Festspiele and La Biennale di Venezia.
Since 1995 Stefan Asbury has served on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center and currently holds the Sana H. Sabbagh master teacher chair on the Conducting Faculty which he has held since 2005. From 1999 to 2005 he was Associate Director of New Music Activities. In addition to his regular summer teaching he has given conducting master classes at institutions such as the Hochschule der Kunste (Zurich), Venice Conservatory, Tokyo Wonder Site, and his master classes are featured in the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Inside the TMC.
Stefan conducted John Adams' A Flowering Tree for the 2009 Perth International Arts Festival, a performance which won 'Best Symphony Orchestra Concert' for the 2009 Helpmann Awards. Other recent opera productions have included Wolfgang Rihm's Jakob Lenz for the 2008 Wiener Festwochen, a concert version of Benjamin Britten's Owen Wingrave with Tapiola Sinfonietta, the world premiere of Van Vlijmen's Thyeste with Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie and the Nationale Reisopera, Johannes Maria Staud's Berenice at Munich Biennale and Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream in Karlsruhe. Stefan has collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Group in their production and tour of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Performances took place at Lincoln Center and at the Barbican amongst other venues. This season sees him collaborate with them again on Four Saints in Three Acts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Stefan Asbury has particularly strong relationships with many living composers including Oliver Knussen, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Unsuk Chin and Mark Anthony Turnage, and collaborates regularly with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik and the London Sinfonietta. He was Music Director of the Remix Ensemble Casa da Musica Porto from 2001-2005, working with them to commission new works and programming an innovative mix of jazz, film and music theatre. Notable amongst his recordings are a recording of works by Unsuk Chin with Ensemble intercontemporain on Deutsche Grammophon. His CD of music by Jonathan Harvey was awarded a 'Monde de la Musique CHOC' award, and his complete cycle 'Espace Accoustique' by Gerard Grisey with WDR Sinfonieorchester won the German music critics award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.)
Stefan Asbury, conductor
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In a career spanning five decades, John Williams has become one of America's most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage. He has served as music director and laureate conductor of one of the country's treasured musical institutions, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and he maintains thriving artistic relationships with many of the world's great orchestras. He remains one of our nation's most distinguished and contributive musical voices.
Mr. Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than 100 films. His nearly 40-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood's most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler's List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones films, Lincoln, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, The Adventures of Tintin, Amistad, Munich, Hook, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Empire of the Sun. Mr. Williams also composed the scores for all six Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Memoirs of a Geisha, Far and Away, The Accidental Tourist, Home Alone, Nixon, The Patriot, Angela's Ashes, Seven Years in Tibet, The Witches of Eastwick, Rosewood, Sleepers, Sabrina, Presumed Innocent, The Cowboys, The Reivers, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, among many others. His most recent film project was The Book Thief. He has worked with such legendary directors as Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler, and Robert Altman. He adapted the score for the film version of Fiddler on the Roof, for which he composed original violin cadenzas for renowned virtuoso Isaac Stern. He has appeared on recordings as pianist and conductor with Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman, and others. Mr. Williams has received five Academy Awards and a total of forty-nine Oscar nominations, making him the Academy's most-nominated living person. He also has received seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), twenty-one Grammys, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records.
A composition student of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mr. Williams also studied piano at the Juilliard School with Madame Rosina Lhevinne. He began his career in the film industry working with such accomplished composers as Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for more than 200 television films for the groundbreaking, early anthology series Alcoa Theatre, Kraft Television Theatre, Chrysler Theatre, and Playhouse 90. His more recent contributions to television music include themes for NBC Nightly News ("The Mission"), the theme for what has become network television's longest-running series, NBC's Meet the Press, and the prestigious PBS arts showcase Great Performances.
Mr. Williams has composed numerous works for the concert stage, among them two symphonies, and concertos for flute, oboe, violin, clarinet, viola, and tuba. His cello concerto was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and premiered by Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood in 1994. Mr. Williams also has filled commissions by several of the world's leading orchestras, including a bassoon concerto for the New York Philharmonic, a trumpet concerto for the Cleveland Orchestra, and a horn concerto for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. "Seven for Luck," a seven-piece song cycle for soprano and orchestra based on texts by former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, was premiered by the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in 1998. And at the opening concert of their 2009-10 season, James Levine led the Boston Symphony in the premiere of Mr. Williams's "On Willows and Birches," a new concerto for harp and orchestra.
In January 1980, Mr. Williams was named nineteenth conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, succeeding the legendary Arthur Fiedler. He currently holds the title of Laureate Conductor, which he assumed following his retirement in December 1993, after fourteen highly successful seasons. He also holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood.
One of America's best-known and most distinctive artistic voices, Mr. Williams has composed music for many important cultural and commemorative events, including "Liberty Fanfare" for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, "American Journey" for the America's Millennium concert in Washington, D.C., on New Year's Eve 1999, and "Soundings" for the gala opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In the world of sport, he has contributed musical themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
Mr. Williams holds honorary degrees from twenty-one American universities, including The Juilliard School, Boston College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, The Eastman School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the University of Southern California. He is a recipient of the 2009 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government. In 2003 he received the Olympic Order, the IOC's highest honor, for his contributions to the Olympic movement. He served as the Grand Marshal of the 2004 Rose Parade in Pasadena, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor in December 2004. In January 2009, Mr. Williams composed and arranged "Air and Simple Gifts" especially for the inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama.
John Williams, conductor
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The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein is rapidly ascending
into classical music's highest ranks. With a masterful technique,
discerning intelligence, and a musical curiosity that has led him
to explore repertoire spanning centuries and numerous styles, he
has proven to be one of today's most intriguing and versatile
Mr. Gerstein is the sixth recipient of the prestigious Gilmore
Artist Award, presented every four years to an exceptional pianist
who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses broad and profound
musicianship and charisma and who desires and can sustain a career
as a major international concert artist. Since receiving the award
in 2010, Mr. Gerstein has shared his prize through the
commissioning of boundary-crossing new works by Oliver Knussen,
Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau, Timothy Andres and Alexander Goehr. Mr.
Gerstein was also awarded First Prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein
Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, received a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist
Award and a 2010 Avery Fisher Grant.
Highlights of his 2015-16 season in North America include
performances of Scriabin's Prometheus: Poem of Fire with Ricardo
Muti and the Chicago Symphony, Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2 with
Semyon Bychkov and the Berlin Philharmonic, Rachmaninoff Concerto
No. 1 with the Cleveland Orchestra, and playing both of George
Gershwin's piano concertos in the original jazz-band version to
open New York's 92nd Street Y's 15/16 season; re-engagements with
the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as with the Toronto,
Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Colorado, Utah and Oregon symphonies
and the National Arts Centre Orchestra; a tour to Australia and New
Zealand; his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw with concerts in
Amsterdam and Frankfurt; a European tour with the Czech
Philharmonic; and recitals in New York and Houston.
Kirill Gerstein's recent North American engagements include
performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia and
Minnesota Orchestras, and the Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco,
Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis and Montreal symphonies
among others. He has also recently appeared at the Aspen Music
Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chicago's Grant Park,
Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony, Blossom with the Cleveland
Orchestra, and with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail
Valley Festival, Mann Music Center and Saratoga; and performed in
recital at New York's 92nd St. Y and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall,
the Kennedy Center and in Boston, Toronto, Berkeley, Vancouver,
Detroit, Miami and Princeton.
Internationally, Kirill Gerstein has played with such prominent
European orchestras as the Czech, Munich, Rotterdam and London
Philharmonics, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches
Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Dresden Staatskappelle, Finnish Radio
Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna, WDR Symphony Orchestra
Cologne and the Zurich Tonhalle, as well as with the NHK Symphony
Orchestra in Tokyo. He has performed recitals in Paris, Prague,
Hamburg, London's Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, and at the
Liszt Academy in Budapest. He made his Salzburg Festival debut
playing solo and two piano works with Andras Schiff and has also
appeared at the Lucerne and Jerusalem Chamber Music Festivals as
well as at the Proms in London.
Mr. Gerstein's second solo recording featuring Mussorgsky's
Pictures at an Exhibition and Schumann's Carnaval was released by
Myrios Classics in June 2014. His first solo recording with works
by Schumann, Liszt and Oliver Knussen, also for Myrios, was chosen
by The New York Times as one of the best recordings of 2010. He
also collaborated with Tabea Zimmerman on two recordings of sonatas
for viola and piano for Myrios, released in February 2011 and
November 2012. His most recent recording of the Tchaikovsky Piano
Concerto No. 1 and the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 with the
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin was released by Myrios in
March 2015 and is the first recording using the new critical
edition recently completed by the Tchaikovsky Museum in Moscow
using the composer's original second version.
Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, Mr. Gerstein studied piano at
a special music school for gifted children and taught himself to
play jazz by listening to his parents' extensive record collection.
At the age of 14, he came to the United States to study jazz piano
as the youngest student ever to attend Boston's Berklee College of
Music. After completing his studies in three years and following
his second summer at the Boston University program at Tanglewood,
Mr. Gerstein turned his focus back to classical music and moved to
New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he
studied with Solomon Mikowsky and earned both Bachelors and Masters
of Music degrees by the age of 20. He continued his studies in
Madrid with Dmitri Bashkirov and in Budapest with Ferenc Rados.
Mr. Gerstein became an American citizen in 2003 and divides his
time between the United States and Germany.
Kirill Gerstein, piano, 2018 Koussevitzky Artist