Conductor Bramwell Tovey has passed away. He had been Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra since 2021, and that orchestra made the announcement a few hours ago, noting that he was “[d]iagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma in May of 2019 . . . from which he was ultimately unable to recover.” He was 69 years old.
The native of Essex, England, was Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony from 2000 to 2018, and also held top jobs at Winnipeg Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic, and BBC Concert Orchestra.
He is best known to Southern California audiences for his many appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, mostly at the Hollywood Bowl where he was an affable, even comedic, podium presence. He held the official title of “Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl” 2008 to 2010. He was scheduled to conduct three concerts at the Bowl this summer: two “Tchaikovsky Spectaculars” (Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13) and Rachmaninoff 2nd Symphony and 2nd Piano Concerto, featuring soloist Nobuyuki Tsujii (Tuesday, August 16).
Thoughts and prayers for his family.
- The press release from the Sarasota Orchestra is available on their home page
- The obituary from the Canadian Broadcast Channel includes a Spotify playlist of his recordings with James Ehnes of the Barber, Korngold, and Walton violin concertos.
Photo credit: courtesy of the artist’s website