British-born conductor Bramwell Tovey will begin his role as Music Director-Designate on September 1, 2021 and assume the title of Music Director in the fall of 2022 – a role that will continue over the next four seasons.
“My decision to accept the invitation to become Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra was made because the artistry and dedication of the musicians, the health of the organization and the support of the community all resonated with an inspiring vision.” , Tovey wrote in a statement.
Tovey was previously musical director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for 18 years, where he focused on the role of the orchestra in community and education.
While in Vancouver, Tovey oversaw the establishment of the VSO School of Music which is now housed in a center named after him. He was also musical director of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra. He is in demand as a guest conductor in other major ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and orchestras in Europe and Asia.
The orchestra’s research committee unanimously recommended Tovey. Anne Folsom Smith, Board Member and Committee Chair cited his “proven artistic leadership, experiences as an institutional leader and desire to join us in Sarasota” as providing a “solid foundation upon which to realize our long-term aspirations for a new music center, ”Sarasota Magazine reported.
Highlights for the upcoming season include a special concert on October 30 titled “Tovey: The Adventure Begins” – which will feature the violinist James ehnes, frequent collaborator of Tovey, and music by Beethoven, Verdi, Saint-Saëns and Sarasate. In addition, he will conduct two-weekend concerts and plan for the following season.