In 2017/2018, as the VSO marks its 99th season, Maestro Tovey’s long tenure will be celebrated with such monumental works as The Dream of Gerontius, by Elgar, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, Britten’s Peter Grimes, and the “Resurrection” Symphony of Mahler. Mr. Tovey will also lead some of his favourite works by Leonard Bernstein and premiere new compositions of his own. Bookending the season will be tours within British Columbia and across Canada, as well as a Gala Celebration (May 31). As the VSO reaches its centenary season, Mr. Tovey will be honored with the title of Music Director Emeritus.
Throughout the summer Mr. Tovey has led performances at the Elora Festival; at Bravo! Vail with the New York Philharmonic; with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood; in Saratoga with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and at the Hollywood Bowl. During the 2017/2018 season Mr. Tovey’s guest appearances will see him return to Rhode Island; Philadelphia, the New York Philharmonic, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Houston symphonies; as well Regina and Toronto. He maintains roots in the banding tradition as a frequent guest of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, and as President of the Foden’s Band.
In 2003 Bramwell Tovey won the JUNO® Award for Best Classical Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a Charred Skull. His song cycle, Ancestral Voices, was written in consultation with First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, and earned much acclaim in its premiere performances in June of 2017. His trumpet concerto, Songs of the Paradise Saloon, was performed in 2014 by the LA Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, both with Alison Balsom as soloist. A recording of his opera, The Inventor, features the original cast, members of UBC Opera and the VSO.
A talented pianist as well as conductor and composer, he has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras, including his own work Pictures in the Smoke with the Melbourne and Helsingborg Symphonies and the Royal Philharmonic, and recently in music of Gershwin with the Chicago 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.