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Sarasota Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 1 month ago

Sarasota Orchestra names new music director

Internationally renowned conductor Bramwell Tovey to serve as sixth music director in the Orchestra's 72-year history
by: Andréa Martone A+E Editor

Sarasota Orchestra has named Bramwell Tovey the sixth music director in the organization's 72-year history. He replaces Anu Tali, who held the position for six years before departing in April, 2019.

Tovey is a Grammy and Juno award winner with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, where he served since 2000. He was formerly Music Director of the Orchestra Philharmonique du Luxenbourg where he played an instrumental role in the opening of the Philharmonie Luxembourg, one of the finest concert halls in Europe.

“We are thrilled to welcome an artist of Bramwell Tovey’s stature at this important time in the development of our organization,” said Joseph McKenna, president & CEO of Sarasota Orchestra. “His brilliant musicianship, passion for education and his immediate chemistry with our musicians inspired his selection by the search committee and Board of Sarasota Orchestra.”

Tovey is considered a versatile conductor, along with his talents as a composer and pianist. Tovey was in demand as a conductor with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, and comes to Sarasota Orchestra after leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, New York Philharmonic at Bravo! Vail Festival, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as orchestras across Europe and Asia.

Widely known in Vancouver for having advanced the orchestra there through tours and recordings, his vision and institutional leadership resulted in the creation in 2011 of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) School of Music which is housed within the Tovey Centre for Music, a state-of-the-art facility named in his honor in 2018.

“For me, music is a profound language that addresses humanity at a level that is beyond mere words,'' Tovey said. "To have been able to spend m career sharing music through the power of the modern symphony orchestra has been an extraordinary privilege.”

The Sarasota Orchestra has, for the last two years, been seeking a site to build a new concert hall. Most recently, the orchestra  said a lack of legal clarity prevents it from pursuing the construction of a hall in Payne Park, the location the organization has called the only viable site for a new venue within city limits.

Beginning Oct.  30 at the Sarasota Opera House, Tovey will conduct the orchestra in a concert entitled, Tovey: the Adventure Begins. The concert will feature multiple Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes who performed with Tovey when Ehnes was a budding Canadian artist.

Single tickets for these and other Sarasota Orchestra concerts go on sale Sept. 7. Information is available at

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I'm the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Observer. I am a graduate of The University of Vermont and a former Editor-in-Chief of a large weekly newspaper chain in Long Island. Music, Arts and Entertainment permeate my blood.

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