Dutch conductor Otto Tausk is the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, now in his second season, and serves as Artistic Advisor of the VSO School of Music. Until spring 2018, Tausk was Music Director of the Opera Theatre and Tonhalle orchestra St Gallen. He appears as a guest with such orchestras as Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, the orchestras of Perth, Tasmania, Auckland, BBC Scottish Symphony and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut last season. He is a hugely respected musical personality in his native Holland, working with all its major orchestras and composers.
In the 2019/2020 season, Tausk continues guesting relationships with Lahti Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, and makes debut appearances with Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Québec and Orchestre philharmonique de Monte-Carlo. In Vancouver, programming highlights include celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday with BeethovenFest in spring 2020, and soloists such as Susan Graham, Alina Ibragimova, Gidon Kremer, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Daniil Trifonov and Dawn Upshaw.
In the opera pit in St Gallen, Tausk conducted the world premiere of Annas Maske, by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti, the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, Korngold’s Die tote Stadt and other titles including Don Giovanni, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Eugene Onegin, West Side Story, Lohengrin and Ariadne auf Naxos. Tausk will conduct Michel van der Aa’s new opera in the 20/21 season, with the world premiere at Dutch National Opera, plus further appearances with the other co-commissioning parties.
Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouw Orchestra (Luc Brewaeys, and an animated version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf), Tonhalle Orchestra St Gallen (Korngold and Diepenbrock), BBC Scottish (Mendelssohn) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Gavin Bryars) amongst others. For the cpo label in 2011 Hans Pfitzner’s enchanting Orchesterlieder garnered international praise, not least the Classica France’s Choc du mois. His Prokofiev disc with Rosanne Philippens also received BBC Music Magazine Concerto Disc of the Month (2018).
Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk initially studied violin and then conducting with Jonas Aleksa. Between 2004 and 2006, Tausk was assistant conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic a period of study that had a profound impact on him. In 2011 Tausk was presented with the ‘de Olifant’ prize by the City of Haarlem. He received this prestigious award for his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands, in particular his extensive work with Holland Symfonia serving as Music Director 2007 to 2012. In reflecting on their work together in The Netherlands, Valery Gergiev paid particular tribute to Tausk on this occasion.
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