In the spotlight...
Bramwell Tovey

David Wright and Aaron Keebaugh write:

#6. Bramwell Tovey and the Boston Symphony Orchestra: Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem

"When heard live, Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem can be breathtaking, and this performance from October was certainly that. British conductor Bramwell Tovey led a resplendent reading that was aided by the fine singing of bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and soprano Rosemary Joshua. But the real heroes of this performance were the singers of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus."

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David Wright and Aaron Keebaugh, The Boston Classical Review

"Etiquette books talk about how to be a perfect guest. But Bramwell Tovey could write one on how to be the perfect guest conductor...One of the keys to his success is knowing that music that sounds effortlessly gorgeous and winning to the naked ear requires more work than the weightier works by Beethoven ...The problem with being such a perfect guest is that when it's time for him to move on, to go back to his home orchestra in Vancouver, you don't want him to leave..."

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David Patrick Stearns, WRTI Philadelphia - Your Classical and Jazz Source
Bramwell Tovey in rehearsal with the Philadelphia Orchestra

"Conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey doesn't recoil with horror from just anything.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's urbane guest conductor for the next two weeks has seen much in life. He grew up in the Salvation Army in his native London, has regularly faced potentially distracted audiences at the Hollywood Bowl, braved the red carpet at the Grammy Awards, and guest-conducted all the Big Five orchestras in the span of one fabulous month last summer..."

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David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Enquirer
Prevail

A Beer With VSO Legend Bramwell Tovey


"My crew and I arrived at The Bottleneck a few minutes ahead of schedule for our interview with Bramwell Tovey, conductor and music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. I was a bundle of nerves as I flipped through my cheat sheet, double-checking notes and stats that I had scrawled days earlier in my Moleskine notebook. Two cameras were being positioned, the rented lavalier microphone was set up in between the broad plains of two dining tables and, the lumens of the external lights were being bounced around the room to best capture the upcoming interview...'

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Prevail, Westender Magazine, Vancouver
Bramwell Tovey in Pyatt Hall at the VSO School of Music

HELP WANTED: Large arts organization in Western Canada seeks an impossibly dynamic, multi-talented, charismatic and photogenic individual to direct dozens of music concerts per year. Should seek to enhance our international reputation, help to determine artistic policies and budgets, and glad-hand at fundraising events. Ability to contribute to our social media profile and community outreach and work with sometimes difficult guest artists a must. Successful candidate will be required to submit to endless interviews and media profiles and interface with often recalcitrant government and private funders, all the while travelling constantly and never, ever getting eight hours sleep...

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David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun
Bramwell Tovey

"When my ship goes down, I want maestro Bramwell Tovey on deck at the piano. The popular conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra demonstrated at a recent fundraiser that he can keep the musical ship afloat when everyone else is thinking of running for the lifeboats..."

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Pat Carney, Vancouver Sun
Bramwell Tovey with Leonard Bernstein in 1986

Candide at Tanglewood - Operetta finds best possible world...

"...a wide variety of versions and productions [of Bernstein's Candide ] have been performed.

But none of these twists and turns faze conductor Bramwell Tovey, who leads professional and TMC vocalists, the Boston Symphony and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in a concert performance this Saturday night, closely mirroring the version he presented two years ago with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl..."

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Clarence Fanto, Berkshire Eagle

The Globe and Mail asked Bramwell Tovey and several other eminent Canadians "How would you reimagine the CBC?":

"After the announcements of this week’s cuts at CBC it’s clear that the traditional blueprint for public broadcasting, still followed successfully in Britain and Australia, has failed in Canada. Government support for CBC has waned and the corporation has lost curatorial focus..."

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Bramwell Tovey and others., Globe and Mail
Robyn Driedger-Klassen, soprano.

David Gordon Duke writes in the Ottawa Citizen: "Most North American orchestras’ commitment to new music is, at best, perfunctory. Not the Vancouver Symphony. Already this year we’ve had a four-concert festival, and the next instalment of the always-impressive annual Jean Coulthard Readings for young composers is on the horizon. Add to that the annual VSO’s Symphony at the Annex series which begins Sunday and runs through the spring to a further three entirely different programs of almost exclusively new music. and you get the idea: new music is a real VSO priority..."

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David Gordon Duke, Ottawa Citizen
At the invitation of Maclean's Magazine, Bramwell Tovey wrote an opinion piece on the lack of a new music policy at the Canadian Opera Company. Read More...
Bramwell Tovey, Maclean's Magazine
"The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra announced Friday that conductor Bramwell Tovey’s contract as music director has been extended until Aug. 2018 — a move that will make Tovey the longest serving conductor in the history of the organization

While that is great news, it also establishes a definite end date for the Tovey era at the VSO.

The decision to step down at the end of the symphony’s 99th season was Tovey’s, made with considerable thought towards making the best possible transition for conductor, orchestra, and community..."

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David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun
"Bramwell Tovey, the esteemed and charismatic music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, will leave the post at the end of the 2017-2018 season..."Bramwell is a brilliant, devoted and inspirational music director,” said Vancouver Symphony Society president and CEO Jeff Alexander in a statement released Friday. “His tenure with the VSO has been transformational..." Read More...
Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail
"The Canadian League of Composers (CLC) and the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) are pleased to announce Vancouver-based conductor, composer and pianist Bramwell Tovey as the recipient of the 2013 Friends of Canadian Music Award.
The annual Friends of Canadian Music Award is a joint venture between the CLC and the CMC honouring those who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to Canadian composers and their music." Read More...
Press release: CMC and CLC, Canadian Music Centre & Canadian League of Composers
"Bramwell Tovey is a renaissance man! We had the pleasure of enjoying the first performance in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Kids Koncert series where Bramwell Tovey demonstrated his many talents. From acting abilities that would rival Hollywood stars, to singing chops that are more than stage-worthy, to say nothing of his instrument mastery, Vancouver is unbelievably lucky to have played host to Conductor Tovey for the past 13 years." Read More...
FamilyFunVancouver.com, Family Fun, Vancouver...
Bramwell Tovey
"Leonard Bernstein called him a hero, John Adams sang his praises, and the accolades continue to pile up as Bramwell Tovey launched the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 95th anniversary season this weekend with the world premiere of a work performed by Dame Evelyn Glennie.

A conductor and composer renowned not just for his musical brilliance but also his great rapport with audiences, Tovey is a fierce cultural advocate and finessed cultural ambassador. He is a tireless promoter of Canadian music and will take on a worthy fight – while also taking cultural capitals by charismatic storm."

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Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail
Premier of BC, Christy Clark
The BC Entertainment Hall of Fame performed two very special inductions into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra were inducted in front of a crowd of over 2700 people in the Historic Orpheum Theatre.

Guest of honour for the induction was Premier Christy Clark and the induction was conducted by BC Entertainment Hall of Fame President, Rob Haynes and Past President, Councillor Elizabeth Ball.

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Press release:, BC Entertainment Hall of Fame
In the world of classical music, it’s rather unusual for the conductor to have a friendly fireside chat with the audience before the concert begins, but for British conductor, composer and pianist Bramwell Tovey, making a connection with the hundreds or thousands of people out there seems to be an important part of his job... Read More...
James Bartlett, BBC America
Chris Thomas of 4barsrest.com talks to Bramwell Tovey in a wide-ranging, three-part series of interviews. Their conversation takes in Bramwell's early life in the Salvation Army, the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, meeting Leonard Bernstein, working with world-class orchestras like the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics and his music directorship of the Vancouver Symphony, and his work as a composer. Read More...
Chris Thomas, 4barsrest.com
On July 1st, 2013 The Governor-General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, announced that Bramwell Tovey had been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada "For his achievements as a conductor and composer, and for his commitment to promoting new Canadian music." Read More...
From the Office of the Governor-General..., The Governor-General of Canada
John Estacio, composer.
Bramwell Tovey conducted the world premiere performances of John Estacio's opera Filumena with Calgary Opera in 2003. He also led performances at the Banff Centre in 2003 and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 2005. Visit the opera's website for more information about this great contemporary work.

Bramwell won the 2003 Betty Mitchell award for Outstanding Musical Direction of Estacio's brilliant score. Read More...
Filumena.JohnEstacio.com
Bramwell Tovey
Julie MacLennan writes: "The tongue-in-cheek (well, only half-tongue-in-cheek) headline on this post refers to a speech that Bramwell Tovey gave to the Vancouver School Board on April 20, 2010 in defence of funding for school instrumental music programs." Read More...
Julia MacLennan, Canada.com

Maestro Tovey was awarded the title of Honorary Patron of Carl Orff Canada at the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver conference in April. Past-President Catherine Bayley gave the following tribute.

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Catherine Bayley, Carl Orff Canada

Maestro Tovey a reçu le titre de membre honorifique de Carl Orff Canada lors de la cérémonie d’ouverture du congrès de Vancouver en avril 2012. La présidente sortante, Catherine Bayley, lui a présenté cet hommage.

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Catherine Bayley, Carl Orff Canada
Bramwell Tovey
"How does a band geek from the London suburbs become the VSO’s conductor, taskmaster, and psychiatrist—and win a Grammy in the process?" Read More...
Bill Richardson, Vancouver Magazine
Bramwell with students at Langley Fine Arts School, BC
In February 2012 Bramwell Tovey was the fourth and final guest speaker in the Art Matters series at Langley Fine Arts School. The other guests were noted educator Sir Ken Robinson, dancer Margie Gillis and painter Tony Scherman.

Bramwell worked with the school orchestra and band, performed on piano, took a masterclass with a piano trio and spoke at length with different groups of students. Read More...
Grace Kennedy, Langley Fine Arts School
Daniel Bolshoy plays classical guitar in the superb acoustics of Pyatt Hall at the VSO School of Music.
"Vancouver Symphony opens up a music school with a stunning hall. The space demands music..."

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John Mackie, Vancouver Sun
"Tovey is the man in the spotlight who has galvanized an entire city with his personality and talent... Read More...
By Eric Friesen, Montecristo Magazine Spring 2011
Bramwell Tovey
"Boston Symphony Orchestra gets ‘Porgy and Bess’ in before Hurricane Irene hits, and before ART’s controversial production...

At its heart was the British conductor Bramwell Tovey, in his BSO debut, conducting with a sure hand and a clear affection for this score’s roiling amalgam of classical, jazz, and vernacular traditions, invented or otherwise..." Read More...
By Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe
Bramwell Tovey and bridegroom, Sam Taylor and bride, Lucy Stubbs...
Miro Cernetig recounts meeting Bramwell Tovey backstage at the Orpheum and relates the story of how the Maestro stood in at a wedding... Read More...
Miro Cernetig, Canada.com
In the photo L to R are Elizabeth Tonge, Georgie Evans and Hannah Labus...
Hannah Lebus describes her experience playing with the National Youth Brass Band at the BBC Proms Read More...
Hannah Lebus, BBC Proms 2012
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