Meet the Conductors

Otto Tausk

Otto Tausk conductor


February 3, 2017 -Vancouver, BC - The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is pleased to announce that Maestro Otto Tausk will become Music Director beginning July 1, 2018, for the VSO’s 100th Anniversary Season. Tausk will also become Artistic Advisor to the VSO School of Music, and Artistic Advisor to the VSO Institute in Whistler. He succeeds the VSO’s longest serving music director, Maestro Bramwell Tovey, who will become Music Director Emeritus at the end of the 2017/2018 season. Maestro Tausk will hold the interim title of Music Director Designate until July, 2018, at which point he will assume full Music Director duties for the 2018/2019 season.

“I am deeply honoured to have been appointed as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s next Music Director, and have enormous respect for this orchestra, which has placed its faith in my music-making and orchestral leadership skills,” said Maestro Otto Tausk. “From my very first rehearsal with the VSO, their drive, energy and ambition felt instinctive, and I knew that we could find a language together to write the next chapter, both on and off the podium.” 

Born in the Netherlands, Otto Tausk is an exciting artist and respected conductor on the world stage who has put together an impressive career,appearing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s ‘Green Umbrella’ Series, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and the radio orchestras of the BBC in the UK. Known as a collaborator of the highest order, he is widely respected for his extensive knowledge and orchestral prowess, achieving critical acclaim in Europe.

Tausk studied violin with Viktor Liberman and Istvan Parkanyi, as well as orchestral conducting with Jurjen Hempel and Kenneth Montgomery. He continued his studies with Lithuanian conductor and Professor Jonas Aleksa at the Vilnius Conservatoire. Between 2004 and 2006, Maestro Tausk was assistant to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a period of study that had a profound impact on him.

“Maestro Tausk is a musician of the highest order. With a wide range of experience, Maestro Tausk will continue to focus on the ongoing artistic development and growth of the Orchestra, and on expanding our community engagement opportunities,” said Fred Withers, Vancouver Symphony Society Board Chair and chair of the search committee. “His perspective, charisma, energy and artistic vision for the future impressed the search committee and aligned well with the VSO’s goals for our 100th Anniversary Season, and beyond. Maestro Tausk is the ideal choice to lead the VSO into the next century of music-making.”

Currently, Tausk is music director of the Orchestra and Opera of St Gallen, Switzerland, a post he has held since 2012. His extensive discography includes recordings with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchestra St. Gallen in Switzerland.

“Finding a natural successor to the artistic and community accomplishments of Music Director Bramwell Tovey was no easy task, but Otto Tausk demonstrated extraordinary communication skills with the orchestra and our audiences,” said Kelly Tweeddale, President of the VSO and the VSO School of Music. “His innate curiosity, attention to detail, and passion for all forms of music made him the clear choice for our community, and I look forward to creating the next chapter of VSO’s rich musical legacy with Maestro Tausk.”

“I know we’ve found someone special in Otto Tausk,” said Vern Griffiths, Principal Percussionist, Chair of the Orchestra Artistic Advisory Committee and member of the Music Director Search Committee. “Right after the first rehearsal of his first visit, the musicians of the search committee immediately asked for him to be rebooked for the next season. He is an exceptional musician with really clear vision for what he’s working on right now, as well as vision for how he wants the orchestra to sound five years from now, and how to get there.  He’s demanding but respectful, hard-working but having fun at the same time.  And it’s all about the music.  I’m confident the city will find him as charming and impressive as we have, as we take the orchestra to the next level.”

Maestro Tausk made his debut with the VSO in January, 2016, and was immediately re-invited for a return visit in January, 2017. He was chosen after an extensive three-year search conducted by a committee representing musicians, board members, and staff, and will work in tandem with Kelly Tweeddale to lead the VSO for its next century. Maestro Bramwell Tovey will remain VSO Music Director until his eighteen-year tenure successfully concludes in June, 2018.

VSO Music Director Maestro Bramwell Tovey congratulates Maestro Tausk:

"I'm delighted to learn that my friend and colleague, Maestro Otto Tausk, Music Director of the Symphony and Opera of St Gallen, has been appointed Music Director Designate of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He has made an enormous impact here as a guest conductor. The affection and respect of the VSO musicians has inspired the board to make a wonderful appointment. This is a great moment for the VSO as Maestro Tausk leads the orchestra into its second century. Sincere congratulations."

1617 Press Release - Bramwell Tovey & Otto Tausk

Maestro Otto Tausk on conducting

Maestro Otto Tausk, VSO Music Director Designate


Dutch conductor Otto Tausk, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Designate - beginning as Music Director in the 2018/19 Season - has been Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre St. Gallen since 2012. He is a widely respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers, and has established himself on international platforms across the globe. 

Born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Maestro Tausk studied violin with Viktor Liberman and Istvan Parkanyi, as well as orchestral conducting with Jurjen Hempel and Kenneth Montgomery. He continued his studies with Lithuanian conductor and professor Jonas Aleksa at the Vilnius Conservatoire. Between 2004 and 2006, Maestro Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a period of study that had a profound impact on him.

Maestro Tausk has opened the ‘Green Umbrella’ Series of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the orchestras of Perth, Tasmania, and Auckland, and the radio orchestras of the BBC in the UK.

Among others, Maestro Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouw Orchestra (Luc Braeways, and an animated digital version of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’), Tonhalle Orchestra St. Gallen (Korngold and Diepenbrock), BBC Scottish Symphony (Mendelssohn) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Gavin Bryers). For the CPO label in 2011, his recording of Hans Pfitzner’s enchanting Orchesterlieder, garnered international praise, not least the Classica France’s “Choc du mois.”

In 2011, Tausk was presented with the prestigious ‘de Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlemfor his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands, in particular, his extensive work with Holland Symfonia, serving as Music Director from 2007 to 2012.

The 2016/17 season has seen Maestro Tausk continuing his guest conducting relationships with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Choir conducting Haydn’s Die Schöpfung. Beethoven Symphony No. 9 features on programmes both with the Tonhalle orchestra of St Gallen and Stuttgart Philharmonic.  He has also conducted the Orchestra of the Casa da Musica Porto, the Dortmund Philharmonic and with another choral work, he finishes St. Gallen’s 2016/17 season performing Alfredo Catalani’s Mass in E minor with the Prague Philharmonic Choir.

The 2016/17 season in St. Gallen saw Maestro Tausk in the opera pit conducting Lohengrin, and in Spring of 2017 he will conduct a world premiere title, AnnasMaske, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti. Highlights in recent seasons have also included the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt and further titles including Don Giovanni, Die EntführungausdemSerail, Eugene Onegin, Westside Story, and Ariadne auf Naxos.

Discography (in chronological order of release)

Tonhalle Orchestra St Gallen
Prokofiev Violin Concerti
Rosanne Philippens, violin
(to be released)

BBC Scottish Symphony
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 1
Reduced release for circulation of BBC Music Magazine

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, RCO Live
Luc Brewaeys, Along the Shores of Lorn

Tonhalle Orchestra of St Gallen
Korngold Violin Concerto, Violin Sonata
Kristóf Baráti, violin

Tonhalle Orchestra of St Gallen, cpo records
Diepenbrock Orchestral Songs
Hans Christoph Begemann, Baritone

Nordwestdeutshce Philharmonic, cpo records
Hans Pfitzner Orchesterlieder
Hans Christoph Begemann, Baritone

Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, Naxos
Gavin Bryars, Piano Concerto, ‘The Solway Canal’
Ralph van Raat, piano

Nederlands Radio Filharmonicsch Orkest, Quattro Live
Tristan Keuris, Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra
Rascher Quartet

Nedelands Radio Filharmonisch Orkest
Wagner/arr. Henk de Vlieger
Deux entr’actes tragiques

Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic
Giel Vleggaar  Orchestral Works
with Ralph van Raat (piano)

Music of Michel van der Aa
ASKO/Schönberg Ensemble in “Mask”

Holland Symfonia: Dutch Sessions
Music by Martijn Padding, Jeff Hamburg, Tristan Keuris, Willem Jeths and Jacob ter Veldhuis
Margriet van Reisen , Mezzo soprano

Holland Symfonia
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet
Documentary DVD and CD

Visit Otto Tausk at http://www.ottotausk.com/

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