LSM Newswire

Thursday, February 18, 2010

VSO extends music director's contract to 2015

Vancouver BC – The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has announced a five-year extension of Bramwell Tovey’s contract as Music Director. Maestro Tovey began his post as Music Director of the VSO in the year 2000; this extension will see him at the helm through the 2014-2015 Season. The continuation of this partnership will celebrate a significant period of artistic leadership for Tovey and the VSO, and provide continuity of vision and high artistic standards for Western Canada’s largest performing arts institution for years to come.

Bramwell Tovey is acknowledged around the world for his artistic depth and his warm, charismatic personality on the podium. Tovey’s career as a conductor is uniquely enhanced by his work as a composer and pianist, lending him a remarkable musical perspective. Bramwell Tovey’s career has skyrocketed during his tenure as VSO Music Director. He was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and is the founding host and conductor of the New York Philharmonic’s Summertime Classics series at Avery Fisher Hall. In addition to these prestigious engagements, he will appear in Melbourne as curator of the contemporary Metropolis Festival in Summer of 2010. Maestro Tovey is also a frequent guest conductor with many of the world’s major orchestras, a schedule that sees him perform in Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada with a growing list of engagements.

Maestro Bramwell Tovey commented, “I am very proud of the VSO’s accomplishments over the past ten years. Working with such a dedicated ensemble of musicians has been a remarkably rewarding experience. I am honoured and privileged to be continuing as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director, and to have the opportunity to work with everyone in the organization to nurture this great Canadian orchestra and reach for even greater heights in the years to come.”

The VSO’s President & CEO Jeff Alexander says, "Bramwell has been an inspiration to the orchestra, the organization, the community and to me personally for the past ten years. He has brought us all to new heights and we look forward with great anticipation to what the next five years will bring."

Commenting on the importance of having a world-class talent at the helm of Vancouver’s orchestra, VSO Board Chair Art Willms remarks, "Vancouver is incredibly fortunate to be able to retain someone as talented as Maestro Tovey for the next five years. His accomplishments with the VSO over the past 10 years have been truly outstanding and we are so pleased that he will continue to lead this great orchestra."

Maestro Tovey’s tenure with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has resulted in a number of remarkable artistic and financial achievements. Under the leadership of Maestro Tovey, President & CEO Jeff Alexander and Board Chair Art Willms, the orchestra has seen six consecutive seasons of surplus budgets; a tremendous achievement for any orchestra. During these years of financial stability, the orchestra has flourished artistically. In the last five years alone, the VSO, with Maestro Tovey, has recorded three albums; won a GRAMMY and JUNO award; conducted a successful tour in China, Korea and Macau; another successful tour to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City; and domestic audiences have increased by nearly 25%. Maestro Tovey has also presided over impressive growth in the VSO’s Music Education programs, which now bring orchestral music into the lives of over sixty thousand students throughout the Lower Mainland. During his tenure, Maestro Tovey has conducted over four hundred concerts with the VSO in over twenty different venues, programmed the work of more than fifty Canadian composers, hired over a third of the current complement of the orchestra, and mentored three young Canadian conductors as Assistant Conductors with the orchestra.

For interviews with Maestro Tovey, please contact Stephanie Fung at 604.684.9100 x266, or sfung@vancouversymphony.ca.


BIOGRAPHY

A musician of striking versatility, Bramwell Tovey is acknowledged around the world for his artistic depth and his warm, charismatic personality on the podium. Tovey’s career as a conductor is uniquely enhanced by his work as a composer and pianist, lending him a remarkable musical perspective. His tenures as music director with the Vancouver Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras have been characterized by his expertise in operatic, choral, British and contemporary repertoire.

He continues as Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and as founding host and conductor of the New York Philharmonic’s Summertime Classics series at Avery Fisher Hall. An esteemed guest conductor, Tovey has worked with orchestras in Europe and the UK including the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Frankfurt Radio and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras. This season, Tovey returns to the Ulster and Helsingborg Orchestras having made his successful debut in 2008/09 and to Opera North and Trondheim Symphony. He makes his debut with Bergen Philharmonic in 2009/10 and will also return to Melbourne as curator of the contemporary Metropolis Festival in summer 2010 and to the main subscription season in autumn 2011. That season, he will also conduct the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the first time. In North America, along with his work with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Tovey has made guest appearances with the orchestras of Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Seattle, Montreal as well as ongoing performances with Toronto, where he conducts each season.

With a profound commitment to new music, Tovey has established himself as a formidable composer and is the first artist to win a Juno Award in both conducting and composing. He has been commissioned by the Calgary Opera to compose the company’s third original full-length opera.

He has also recorded several DVDs, of works including Holst’s The Planets Suite with distinguished guests such as percussionist Evelyn Glennie, among many others.

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