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 Philharmonic.
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 8th Symphony.
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."